List of people granted asylum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of people granted political asylum for individual and publicly known reasons. They were persecuted because of their actions as individuals, not because they were members of a persecuted group. Individual reasons for persecution can be found in the notes column of the table.

People granted asylum[edit]

Year Name Citizenship or Persecuting power or Country refusing protection Country which granted asylum Occupation Notes / References
1849 Karl Marx  Prussia  United Kingdom German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist In exile in London from 1849.
1929 Leon Trotsky  Soviet Union  Turkey




Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army In exile in Turkey from 1929–1933, in France 1933–1935, in Norway 1935–1937, in Mexico 1937–1940.
1954 Peter Norwood Duberg  United States


  Switzerland United States citizen, United Nations official, employed in Paris at UNESCO For reasons of his early adulthood membership in the Communist Party, Duberg, along with several other U.S. citizens working in international organizations, became the subject of U.S. official investigation in the early 1950s. This led to a loyalty investigation by the U.S. State Department in 1953, also his name being discussed in the U.S. Congress House Committee on un-American Activities.[1] During 1953, while living in France, and working as an official at UNESCO (the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization) Mr. Duberg refused to answer a series of loyalty-related questionnaires. This resulted in decisions taken which led to termination of his professional employment at the United Nations in 1954. France refused to protect the Duberg family, leading to their need for political asylum. They applied for, and were granted asylum in Switzerland.
1956 József Mindszenty  Hungary  United States (embassy)


Cardinal of the Catholic Church as the Archbishop of Esztergom in Hungary [citation needed]
1959 The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso  Tibet  India Head monk of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism (Dalai Lama) In exile in India since 1959.[2] Currently residing in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala from where he established the Tibetan Government in Exile.
1964-1976 João Goulart  Brazil  Uruguay 24º President of Brazil,[3] deposed by the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état.[4] He sent a letter requesting the right of asylum on 3 April 1964[a] and went in exile on 4 April 1964.[6] On 21 April he was conceded the asylum and only waived it on 9 November 1976, with the goal of returning to his home country, but died on 6 December.[7]
1964-1979 Leonel Brizola  Brazil  Uruguay
 United States
Federal deputy from Guanabara (1963-1964).[8] Part of the opposition against the military dictatorship in Brazil, he had asylum from Uruguay from 3 May 1964[9] until his expulsion in 1977[10] and then had US asylum from 1977-1979.[11]
1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva  Soviet Union  United States Writer and lecturer; daughter of Joseph Stalin [citation needed]
1979 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi  Iran  Egypt Shah of Iran [citation needed]
1979-1980 Anastasio Somoza Debayle  Nicaragua  Paraguay President of Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza Debayle [citation needed]
1984 Assata Shakur  United States  Cuba United States citizen, African-American activist, member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Escaped prison escapee in 1979, two years after being convicted in 1977 of the 1973 first degree murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.[12]
1985 Walter Polovchak  Soviet Union  United States Soviet-born Ukrainian youth who in 1980 then at age 12 was the youngest person to announce that he wanted to leave the Communist world and not return with his parents to what was then Soviet Ukraine. In 1985 after five years of court battles on October 3-his 18th birthday-he was able to stay permanently in the U.S. when he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.
1986 Choi Eun-hee  South Korea  United States South Korean actress [13]
1986 Shin Sang-ok  South Korea  United States South Korean film producer and director [13]
1992 November 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt participants  Venezuela  Peru Military officers After the failure of the November 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état, most of its participants fled to Peru, where they were received by dictator Alberto Fujimori as political asylees. Carlos Andrés Pérez's government had previously severed diplomatic relations with Peru in April after Fujimori carried out a self-coup the same year.[14]
1997 Christoph Meili   Switzerland  United States National of Switzerland, bank-security guard and whistleblowers at the Union Bank of Switzerland (now UBS) Mr. Meili was a security guard at UBS, where he witnessed the destruction of documents related to World War II accounts of Jews. He reported the destruction, and was subjected to prosecution, also death threats. The family fled to the United States and were granted political asylum via a private law passed specifically for the Meili family.[15][16][17][18] Unhappy in the United States, Mr. Meili later returned to Switzerland safely.
1997/8 Nury Turkel  China  United States Graduate student, later Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom [19][20][21][22]
1999–2004, 2007 Alex Konanykhin and his wife  Russia  United States Russian entrepreneur, former banker [citation needed]
2001 Mohamed El Ghanem  Egypt   Switzerland Former officer of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, lawyer, Doctor of Law and Professor. Several years after receiving refugee status in Switzerland, Dr. El Ghanem later was arbitrarily detained without charge for refusing to collaborate with Swiss Federal Police in a spying project on local Muslim community. He remained detained without trial for six years. He was released into a hospital in Geneva, under control of the Prosecutor's office: He had brain damage from forced drugging in prison. As of 2023, his whereabouts are unknown.
2001 Alexander Litvinenko  Russia  United Kingdom Former officer who served in the Soviet KGB and its Russian successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB) [citation needed]
2002 Pedro Carmona  Venezuela  Colombia Venezuelan businessman, declared interim President of Venezuela during the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt [23]
2003 Akhmed Zakayev  Russia  United Kingdom Former Deputy Prime Minister and the current Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria [citation needed]
2003 Boris Berezovsky  Russia  United Kingdom Former Russian government official, businessman and mathematician, member of Russian Academy of Sciences [citation needed]
2004 Ilyas Akhmadov  Russia  United States Former politician and foreign minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria [24]
2005 Bobby Fischer  United States  Iceland Chess Grandmaster and the 11th World Chess Champion, chess author [25][26]
2007 John Robles  United States

 Puerto Rico

 Russia Leak site owner, English teacher, investigative journalist, writer, US foreign policy critic, publisher. John Anthony Robles II is a Taino Indian born in Puerto Rico. In 2007 under false pretenses his US Passport was revoked and he was left stateless in Russia. John worked for the Russian Government and was granted asylum along with his two US born American children. John left the US in 1995 after attempting to expose CPS child trafficking and initiating the formation of a Grand Jury. On the day the Grand Jury was to convene with Robles providing testimony John was detained but not charged and accused of working for the KGB and the Russians. He was forced to leave the US with his children of whom he had full custody and to seek asylum.[27] Robles was a correspondent, newsreader and political commentator for the Voice of Russia and quoted worldwide "Romney and his promise of 'Republican hell'". Foreign Policy.
2007 Irakli Okruashvili  Georgia  France Georgian politician [citation needed]
2008 Chere Lyn Tomayko  United States  Costa Rica United States citizen Chere Lyn Tomayko, wanted in the United States for parental kidnapping, was granted asylum in June 2008 by Costa Rica. Tomayko's claims that her actions were justified by domestic violence she suffered were taken into account by the Costa Rican authorities.[28]
2008 Nixon Moreno  Venezuela  Holy See [29]
2009 Manuel Rosales  Venezuela  Peru Venezuelan educator and politician [30]
2010 Virginia Vallejo  Colombia  United States Colombian writer, journalist, columnist, media personality, television anchorwoman,[31] and socialite Biography of the political asylee[32]
2011 Savva Terentyev  Russia  Estonia Russian blogger and musician [citation needed]
2011 Al-Saadi Gaddafi  Libya  Niger Third son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi; Libyan former association football player
2012 Julian Assange  Australia


 United Kingdom

 United States

 Ecuador (embassy) Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist Until 11 April 2019, he was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.[33] Ecuador rescinded Assange's asylum status and citizenship in 2019.[34] Since 2019, Assange has been imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh prison fighting against extradition to the United States. His last appeal is in February 2024.
2012 Alexander Barankov  Belarus  Ecuador Belarusian former policeman or army captain [35][36][37]
2012 Safia Farkash  Libya  Oman Widow of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and former First Lady of Libya
2012 Muhammad Gaddafi  Libya  Oman Eldest son of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi; chairman of the General Posts and Telecommunications Company
2012 Ayesha Gaddafi  Libya  Oman Fifth child and only daughter of former Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi; Libyan mediator and military official, former UN Goodwill Ambassador, and lawyer
2012 Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi  Libya  Oman Fifth son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi; first consultant to the Management Committee of the General National Maritime Transport Company (GNMTC) of Libya
2013 Edward Snowden  United States  Russia United States citizen; CIA Officer. Former Booz Allen Hamilton employee worked as a system administrator under an NSA contract. Granted temporary asylum in Russia.[38] Granted Russian citizenship in 2022.[39]
2014 Denise Harvey  United States  Canada United States citizen Granted asylum in Canada after being sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Florida court for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old teenage boy. The crime she was convicted of is not a crime in Canada (i.e., consensual sex between a 16-year-old and an adult not in a position of authority with respect to the teen) and the Canadian Immigration and Review Board ruled that the 30-year sentence was "cruel and unusual punishment".[40][41][42]
2014 Suren Gazaryan  Russia  Estonia Russian citizen, Green activist Goldman Prize recipient in 2014[43]
2014 Ali Abd Jalil  Malaysia  Sweden Malaysian citizen, student activist Granted asylum in Sweden after being detained by Royal Malaysia Police and served 22 days in prison for insulting royalty.[44]
2014 Tamara Sujú  Venezuela  Czech Republic Venezuelan lawyer and human rights activist Granted international protection status for a period of ten renewable years.[45]
2017 Amos Yee  Singapore  United States Singaporean blogger Charged by the State Courts of Singapore after posting videos critical of religious communities in Singapore, and of Lee Kuan Yew. Later granted asylum in the United States.[46]
2018 Nikola Gruevski  Macedonia  Hungary Macedonian citizen, former Prime minister of Macedonia [47]
2018 Rosmit Mantilla  Venezuela  France National Assembly deputy [48]
2019 Evo Morales  Bolivia  Mexico Bolivian citizen, former President of Bolivia [49]
2020 Christopher Mark Doyon aka Commander X  United States  Mexico US Citizen, Activist/Author First US citizen in history to receive political asylum in Mexico. Granted refugee status for acts associated with Anonymous, and his support of Julian Assange & WikiLeaks.[50] Doyen was granted humanitarian protection status, but Mexico did not provide real protection from U.S. removal-requests for Doyen: In 2021, a multi-agency team of American, Mexican and intergovernmental authorities (including the Mexican National Police, the U.S. FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the US State Department and Interpol)[51] stormed the compound in which he resided in Mexico city and deported him without a hearing. He was presented to U.S. authorities in Northern California, where he pled guilty (via plea-deal) to hacking the city of Santa Cruz, was imprisoned for about a year; he was released, in 2022.[52]
2021 Nathan Law  China ( Hong Kong resident)  United Kingdom Hong Kong resident, Politician and Activist Self Exiled in United Kingdom after China's increasing control over Hong Kong.[53]
2021 Tuhin Das  Bangladesh  America Bengali Writer, Activist Exiled in 2016 for speaking out against Islamic fundamentalism. Granted Asylum in America.[54][55]
2022 Rafael Correa  Ecuador  Belgium Former President of Ecuador In 2022, Ecuador's Court President began extradition request seeking the return of former President Rafael Correa, who lives in Belgium and in 2020 was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison on bribery allegations.. extradition was refused and he was granted asylum in Belgium.[56][57]
2024 Jorge Glas  Ecuador  Mexico Former Vice President of Ecuador Jorge Glas was granted political asylum by Mexico just hours before authorities in Ecuador raided their embassy and took Glas into custody. This event triggered a diplomatic crisis which was condemned by other countries in the Americas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Full text of "Scope of Soviet activity in the United States. Hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-fourth Congress, second session–Eighty-fifth Congress, first session .."". Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Dalai Lama Gets Asylum In India; Harried In Flight". Archived from the original on 13 October 2023. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  3. ^ "List of presidents of Brazil". Archived from the original on 5 May 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  4. ^ "João Goulart". Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  5. ^ Jorge Ferreira (2011). João Goulart (in Brazilian Portuguese) (3 ed.). Civilização Brasileira. p. 538. ISBN 978-85-200-1056-3.
  6. ^ Kenny Braga; João Borges de Souza; Cleber Dioni; Elmar Bones. Parlamentares Gaúchos: João Goulart (in Brazilian Portuguese). p. 127. ISBN 978-85-66054-09-5. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020. Alt URL
  7. ^ Flávio Ilha (3 March 2014). "Para tentar voltar ao Brasil, Jango renunciou ao asilo político no Uruguai" [To try to return to Brazil, Jango renounced political asylum in Uruguay] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 3 August 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  8. ^ Kenny Braga; João Borges de Souza; Cleber Dioni; Elmar Bones. Parlamentares Gaúchos: João Goulart (in Brazilian Portuguese). p. 98. ISBN 978-85-66054-09-5. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020. Alt URL
  9. ^ Jorge Ferreira (2011). João Goulart (in Brazilian Portuguese) (3 ed.). Civilização Brasileira. pp. 544–545. ISBN 978-85-200-1056-3.
  10. ^ Leite, Maria Cláudia Moraes (2019). "Leonel Brizola e os últimos anos de exílio" [Leonel Brizola and the last years of exile]. Tempo e Argumento (in Brazilian Portuguese). 11 (26): 358. doi:10.5965/2175180311262019353. Archived from the original on 4 September 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  11. ^ Rocha, Glaciliano (22 August 2010). "Um gaúcho em NY" [A gaucho in NY]. Folha de São Paulo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Brazil. Archived from the original on 2 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Black Liberation Army Member, Assata Shakur, Tried on Murder and Assault Charges | Archives & Special Collections". Archived from the original on 9 March 2024.
  13. ^ a b Thomson, Mike (5 March 2003). "Kidnapped by North Korea". BBC News. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  14. ^ Márquez, Laureano; Eduardo, Sanabria (2018). "La democracia pierde energía". Historieta de Venezuela: De Macuro a Maduro (1st ed.). Gráficas Pedrazas. p. 142. ISBN 978-1-7328777-1-9.
  15. ^ U.S. Congress: Bill S. 768: A bill for the relief of Michel Christopher Meili, Giuseppina Meili, Mirjam Naomi Meili, and Davide Meili, private bill sponsored by New York Senator Alphonse D'Amato (R-NY), signed into Private Law 105-1 by President Bill Clinton on 29 July 1997; accessed 30 October 2006.
  16. ^ Swiss parliament, Summer session 1997
  17. ^ Question Schlüer[dead link]
  18. ^ Response of Federal Councillor Flavio Cotti, who claimed the United States was not granting the Meili family "asylum", but rather a facilitated fast-track immigration. Accessed 30 October 2006.
  19. ^ "USCIRF Welcomes Appointment by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Nury Turkel to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom". United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. 26 May 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  20. ^ "Nury Turkel, Commissioner". United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  21. ^ Leigh Hartman (23 June 2020). "Once interned in China, Uyghur American fights for religious freedom". U.S. Embassy in Denmark. Archived from the original on 2 October 2023. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  22. ^ "ICT welcomes Nury Turkel's appointment to US religious freedom commission". International Campaign for Tibet. 26 May 2020. Archived from the original on 8 November 2023. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Venezuelan coup leader given asylum". BBC News. 27 May 2002. Archived from the original on 29 July 2023. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  24. ^ Reynolds, Maura (6 August 2004). "U.S. Asylum for Chechen Draws Protest From Russia". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 6 June 2023. Retrieved 20 April 2024.
  25. ^ Weber, Bruce (19 January 2008). "Bobby Fischer, Troubled Genius of Chess, Dies at 64". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 March 2024.
  26. ^ "Bobby Fischer | Biography & Facts | Britannica". 11 May 2023. Archived from the original on 19 January 2024.
  27. ^ Lally, Kathy (19 July 2013). "Snowden could follow path of U.S. asylum-seekers who led unhappy lives in Russia". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 8 March 2023. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Wanted US woman freed in Costa Rica". USA Today. 26 July 2008.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ "The Vatican grants asylum to Nixon Moreno". 17 September 2007. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2024.
  30. ^ "Venezuela recalls envoy in Peru". BBC News. 28 April 2009. Archived from the original on 10 January 2024. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  31. ^ Virginia Vallejo, anchorwoman 1994 on YouTube,
  32. ^ "Biography of the political asylee Virginia Vallejo". 8 February 2018. Archived from the original on 16 December 2023. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  33. ^ Declaración del Gobierno de la República del Ecuador sobre la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange. (in Spanish) (Archived 17 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine)
  34. ^ "Ecuador revokes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's citizenship". Al Jazeera. 28 July 2021. Assange fled to Ecuador's embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to the US, but his asylum status was later revoked
  35. ^ ""Платформа" папрасіла Эквадор не выдаваць Баранкова" (in Belarusian). Belsat TV. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  36. ^ "Corte analiza la extradición de bielorruso". Expreso (Ecuador). 15 August 2012. Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  37. ^ Küffner, Stephan; Megan Gibson (16 July 2012). "Assange's Special Asylum: Why Ecuador Isn't Nice to Anyone Else". Time. Archived from the original on 21 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  38. ^ "Statement on Snowden's Successful Russian Asylum Bid". WikiLeaks. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013.
  39. ^ Macias, Amanda (22 September 2022). "Putin grants Russian citizenship to former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden". CNBC. Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  40. ^ "Florida sex offender granted asylum in Canada". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  41. ^ Clarke, Katrina (15 May 2014). "Florida sex-offender who had relations with 16-year-old granted refugee status in Canada". The National Post. National Post. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  42. ^ Merti, Steve (19 May 2014). "Was Canada right to grant asylum to a U.S. sex offender?". Yahoo! News Canada. Yahoo! News. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  43. ^ "Goldman Prize Recipient Suren Gazaryan". 29 May 2014.
  44. ^ "Malaysia activist whose passport was revoked says he has been issued asylum card by Sweden". The Straits Times. 9 December 2014.
  45. ^ "Tamara Suju recibe asilo político en la República Checa" (in European Spanish). El Universal. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  46. ^ hermes (18 October 2020). "Amos Yee faces deportation if convicted of child porn charges". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  47. ^ "Report: Hungary grants asylum to former Macedonian leader". The Washington Post. 20 November 2018. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018.
  48. ^ "Rosmit Mantilla, asilado en Francia, compartió su historia tras pasar dos años en El Helicoide". Efecto Cocuyo (in Spanish). 5 June 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  49. ^ "Report: Bolivia crisis: Evo Morales accepts political asylum in Mexico". BBC News. 12 November 2019.
  50. ^ Article in Dinero En Imagen
  51. ^ "Former Mountain View Resident Christopher Doyon Apprehended In Mexico And Returned To The United States" (Press release). U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California. 15 June 2021.
  52. ^ Nate Anderson (16 June 2021). "Ten-year hacktivist fugitive Commander X arrested in Mexico". Ars Technica.
  53. ^ Davidson, Helen (9 April 2021). "China blasts UK for granting asylum to Hong Kong activist Nathan Law". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  54. ^ "Tuhin Das: Poet, Activist and Writer in Exile". Voice of America. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  55. ^ O'Driscoll, Bill (21 June 2022). "Dissident Bangladeshi writer explores homesickness, and Pittsburgh, in new poetry collection". WESA (FM). Retrieved 14 October 2022.
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  1. ^ His wife, Maria Thereza Goulart, and his son João Vicente Goulart and his daughter Denize, were sent to Uruguay on 3 April with a letter asking for asylum. With that, the first-lady Maria Thereza Goulart became the first exiled Brazilian during the Military Dictatorship.[5]