List of people who took refuge in a diplomatic mission

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Because diplomatic missions, such as embassies and consulates, may not be entered by the host country without permission (even though they do not enjoy extraterritorial status), persons have from time to time taken refuge from a host-country's national authorities inside the embassy of another country.

Name Notability Reason for Seeking Refuge Country City Mission's Country Start Date End Date Duration Resolution
John William, Baron Ripperda Dismissed Prime Minister of Spain Sought for fraud, embezzlement  Spain Madrid  Kingdom of Great Britain April 13, 1726 (1726-04-13) May 25, 1727 (1727-05-25)[1] 407 days Arrested by the Spanish from inside of Ambassador's official residence (in breach of international law)[2]
José Manuel Balmaceda President of Chile Defeated in the Chilean Civil War  Chile Santiago  Argentina August 29, 1891 (1891-08-29) September 18, 1891 (1891-09-18) 20 days Committed suicide
Khalid bin Bargash Sultan of Zanzibar Defeated in the Anglo-Zanzibar War  Sultanate of Zanzibar Zanzibar Town  German Empire August 27, 1896 (1896-08-27) October 2, 1896 (1896-10-02) 36 days Negotiated exile in German East Africa
Augusto Roa Bastos Paraguayan novelist, story-writer and journalist Political persecution after criticising the military regime  Paraguay Asunción  Brazil 1947 (1947) 1947 (1947) 40 days[3] Negotiated exile in Argentina[4]
Leonardo Argüello Barreto President of Nicaragua Ousted by Anastasio Somoza García  Nicaragua Managua  Mexico May 26, 1947 (1947-05-26) December 1947 (1947-12) 7 months Negotiated exile in Mexico
Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre Peruvian political theorist and politician; founder of APRA APRA was outlawed by the Peruvian military-led dictatorship  Peru Lima  Colombia January 3, 1949 (1949-01-03) April 6, 1954 (1954-04-06) 5 years, 3 months, 3 days After heavy international pressure, was finally allowed to leave the country[5]
Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán President of Guatemala Ousted by Carlos Castillo Armas  Guatemala Guatemala City  Mexico June 27, 1954 (1954-06-27) June 28, 1954 (1954-06-28) 1 day Negotiated exile in Mexico
Imre Nagy deposed Prime Minister of Hungary Soviet Intervention  Hungary Budapest  Yugoslavia November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) November 22, 1956 (1956-11-22) 18 days Received a written guarantee of safe passage, but was nonetheless arrested upon leaving by the new, pro-Soviet government; later executed.
József Mindszenty Hungarian Roman Catholic Church cardinal Soviet Intervention  Hungary Budapest  United States November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) September 28, 1971 (1971-09-28) 15 years Negotiated exile in Austria
Reino Häyhänen Soviet Lieutenant Colonel defection  France Paris  United States November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) May 1957 (1957-05) 6 months Moved to the United States
Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein Iraqi prince coup led by Abd al-Karim Qasim  Iraq Baghdad  Saudi Arabia July 15, 1958 (1958-07-15) September 1958 (1958-09) 2 months Left to exile in Egypt, later to Lebanon and Britain
Narciso Campos Pontigo A member of the Cuban military Jailed after the Cuban revolution  Cuba Havana  Brazil 1959 (1959) 1959 (1959) Set free by personal order of Raúl Castro; got asylum in the Brazilian embassy, then fled to the United States[6][7][8][9][10][11]
Humberto Delgado A General of the Portuguese Air Force and opponent of the Salazar regime Ran for President; lost to the official candidate in disputed results and was expelled from the military  Portugal Lisbon  Brazil January 12, 1959 (1959-01-12) April 20, 1959 (1959-04-20) 98 days Went into exile in Brazil
Olga María Rodríguez Farinas (later Olga Goodwin) and her (and William Alexander Morgan's) two daughters Cuban revolutionary who, along with her U.S.-born husband, fought in the Cuban Revolution that deposed Fulgencio Batista and led to Fidel Castro's rise to power escaping persecution from Fidel Castro, who Olga's husband was accused of conspiring against[12]  Cuba Havana  Brazil December 31, 1960 (1960-12-31) March 1961 (1961-03) 3 months Left the Embassy in order to try to set her husband free; her husband was executed, and she was arrested and imprisoned for 12 years.
José Serra Brazilian politician; at the time, militant against the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985) escaping persecution from the Brazilian military government  Brazil Brasília  Italy April, 1964 July, 1964 8 months Was granted safe conduct to leave into exile
Kong Le Royal Lao Army Major-General[13][14] escaped an unsuccessful Coup d'état  Laos Vientiane  Indonesia October 17, 1966 (1966-10-17) October 17, 1966 (1966-10-17) 1 day Left into exile to Indonesia
Leon Veillard Captain in the Haitian Army and one of the leaders of the Tonton Macoute militia Labeled as a traitor by dictator Papa Doc, who feared he was plotting to overthrow his government and sentenced him and others to die.[15]  Haiti Port-au-Prince  Brazil 1967 (1967) 1967 (1967)[16] 18 colleagues of Veillard were executed, but he received asylum in the Brazilian Embassy and fled to Florida[15]
José Serra Brazilian politician; at the time, militant against the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985) escaping persecution from the Brazilian military government  Chile Santiago  Italy 1973 1973 8 months Was granted safe conduct to leave into exile
Cuban diplomats and civilians Escaped gunfire at the Cuban Embassy Persecution after the Chilean military coup  Chile Santiago de Chile  Sweden September 11, 1978 (1978-09-11) 1978 Safely brought out of Chile. Cuban embassy under Swedish protecting power for 18 years. Ambassador Harald Edelstam later declared persona non grata.
The Siberian Seven Siberian Pentecostals prevented from emigrating[17]  Soviet Union Moscow  United States June 27, 1978 (1978-06-27) June 27, 1983 (1983-06-27) 5 years (last of them) Allowed to emigrate to Israel and later the U.S.
Ange Patasse Central African opposition leader opposing Andre Kolingba government  Central African Republic Bangui  France February 27, 1982 (1982-02-27) March 3, 1982 (1982-03-03) 4 days Negotiated exile to Togo
Francisco René Bobadilla Palomo Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food under President Fernando Romeo Lucas García deposed by a military junta headed by Efraín Ríos Montt  Guatemala Guatemala City  Brazil 1982 (1982) 1982 (1982) Governing junta granted all asylum-seekers safe passage to leave the country
Fang Lizhi and his wife dissident in Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 forced end of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989  China Beijing  United States June 5, 1989 (1989-06-05) June 25, 1990 (1990-06-25) 385 days Negotiated flight to the United States
Olivia Forsyth South African apartheid era ex- spy agent[18] defection to ANC  Angola Luanda  United Kingdom May 2, 1988 (1988-05-02) November 16, 1988 (1988-11-16) 198 days Negotiated flight to the United Kingdom
Hou Dejian dissident in Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 forced end of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989  China Beijing  Australia June 1989 (1989-06) August 16, 1989 (1989-08-16) 72 days[19] Negotiated exit and deported back to native Taiwan
Manuel Noriega Military dictator of Panama United States invasion of Panama  Panama Ciudad de Panama  Holy See December 24, 1989 (1989-12-24) January 3, 1990 (1990-01-03) 10 days Negotiated arrest by United States forces
Michel Aoun Lebanese Army commander defeated in Lebanese Civil War  Lebanon Beirut  France October 1990 (1990-10) August 27, 1991 (1991-08-27) 10 months Left to exile in France
Erich Honecker General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany Indicted in Germany for the deaths of 192 East Germans who tried to leave the GDR in violation of anti-Republikflucht laws.  Russia Moscow  Chile December 24, 1991 (1991-12-24) March 1, 1992 (1992-03-01) 68 days Extradited by the Yeltsin administration back to Germany
Mohammad Najibullah President of Afghanistan Afghan Civil War  Afghanistan Kabul  United Nations April 16, 1992 (1992-04-16) September 27, 1996 (1996-09-27) 4 years, 5 months, 11 days Tortured and killed by the Taliban
Sylvestre Ntibantunganya President of Burundi military coup d'état  Burundi Bujumbura  United States July 23, 1996 (1996-07-23) June 1997 (1997-06) 11 months Negotiated exit
Abdullah Öcalan founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party Turkish manhunt  Kenya Nairobi  Greece January 1999 (1999-01) February 15, 1999 (1999-02-15) 1 month Arrested on the way to the airport and tried and imprisoned in Turkey.
João Bernardo Vieira President of Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Civil War  Guinea-Bissau Bissau  Portugal May 1999 (1999-05) June 1999 (1999-06) 1 month Negotiated exile in Portugal
Alassane Ouattara Presidential candidate in Côte d'Ivoire First Ivorian Civil War  Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan  France September 19, 2002 (2002-09-19) November 2002 (2002-11) 2 months Negotiated exile in Gabon and France
Lucio Gutiérrez Deposed President of Ecuador Tried to interfere in the country's Supreme Court amid a growing political crisis and protests; was declared impeached by Congress and replaced by the Vice-President  Ecuador Quito  Brazil April 15, 2005 (2005-04-15) April 24, 2005 (2005-04-24) 9 days Negotiated exile in Brazil, then went to Peru, then to the United States; returned to Ecuador and disputed the Ecuadorian general election, 2009
Morgan Tsvangirai Candidate for President of Zimbabwe violence during Zimbabwean presidential election, 2008  Zimbabwe Harare  Netherlands June 22, 2008 (2008-06-22) June 25, 2008 (2008-06-25)[20] 3 days After negotiations with opponent Robert Mugabe, accepted joining a coalition government and was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Anwar Ibrahim De facto Leader of the Opposition Malaysia Death threats and alleged sodomy charge  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur  Turkey June 29, 2008 (2008-06-29) June 30, 2008 (2008-06-30) 1 day Left after assurance of his safety by Malaysian police. Was arrested on 16 July, and released without charges on 17 July. Won the August elections and returned to Parliament as formal leader of the Malaysian opposition
Andry Rajoelina Deposed mayor of Antananarivo, unilaterally self-proclaimed as president of the Republic of Madagascar on January 31, 2009. Arrest warrant  Madagascar Antananarivo  France March 6, 2009 (2009-03-06) March 16, 2009 (2009-03-16) 10 days Andry Rajoelina appointed as president of the caretaker government by Hippolyte Rarison Ramaroson as Marc Ravalomanana resigns and flees the country
Alberto Pizango Peruvian indigenous leader Commanded protests against the Peruvian government by indigenous Amazonians who seized control of a natural gas field and a petroleum pipeline  Peru Lima  Nicaragua June 8, 2009 (2009-06-08)[21] June 17, 2009 (2009-06-17)[22] 9 days Granted asylum and flown to Nicaragua
Manuel Zelaya[23] Ousted President of Honduras wanted by authorities for putative crimes against the National Constitution  Honduras Tegucigalpa  Brazil September 21, 2009 (2009-09-21) January 28, 2010 (2010-01-28) 129 days Negotiated exile in Dominican Republic
Shahram Amiri Iranian nuclear scientist disappeared from Iran  United States Washington D.C.  Pakistan July 13, 2010 (2010-07-13) July 14, 2010 (2010-07-14) 1 day returned to Iran
Wang Lijun Former police chief of Chongqing Conflict with Bo Xilai; see Wang Lijun incident  China Chengdu  United States February 6, 2012 (2012-02-06) February 7, 2012 (2012-02-07) 1 day "Left of his own volition" and taken by central government authorities
Amadou Toumani Touré Malian deposed president military coup d'état  Mali Bamako  Senegal April 18, 2012 (2012-04-18) August 2012 (2012-08) 4 months fled to Senegal
Chen Guangcheng blind civil rights activist escape from house arrest  China Beijing  United States April 26, 2012 (2012-04-26)
[citation needed]
May 2, 2012 (2012-05-02) 6 days Left to go to hospital under unclear circumstances. Was later able to go to the U.S with his family.
Roger Pinto Bolivian Senator; leader of the opposition Alleged political persecution by Government of President Evo Morales  Bolivia La Paz  Brazil May 28, 2012 (2012-05-28) August 23, 2013 (2013-08-23) 455 days Left the Embassy in a diplomatic car accompanied by the Brazilian Chargé d'affaires; they drove for 22 hours until arriving in Brazil[24]
Julian Assange Australian political activist, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks Avoid extradition on a range of allegations of a sexual nature to Sweden and Avoid extradition on secret Grand Jury charges to the United States  United Kingdom London  Ecuador June 19, 2012 (2012-06-19) (ongoing) 1,712 days
Mohamed Nasheed Former President of the Maldives, who resigned in 2012 claiming to have suffered a coup d'etat Fearing for his life at the hands of the police after ex-Human Rights Minister and a Brigadier General revealed information about assassination plot after Court order issued for police to arrest him[25][26][27][28]  Maldives Malé  India February 13, 2013 (2013-02-13) February 23, 2013 (2013-02-23) 10 days Left the Embassy after deal brokered by India[29]
Bosco Ntaganda Former commander in the March 23 Movement Infighting within the March 23 Movement and possibly vulnerable to Rwandan government[30]  Rwanda Kigali  United States March 18, 2013 (2013-03-18) March 22, 2013 (2013-03-22) 4 days Turned over to the International Criminal Court.
100 Burundians Students Aggression from the Burundian Government[31]  Burundi Bujumbura  United States June 25, 2015 (2015-06-25) June 25, 2015 (2015-06-25) [32] Left peacefully at request;[33] relocated to a center run by a religious entity


  1. ^ "Ripperda, John William". The Penny Cyclopædia. 20. Charles Knight. 1841. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  2. ^ International Law: A Treatise, p. 565, at Google Books
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ The Moncada Attack: Birth of the Cuban Revolution, p. 285, at Google Books
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Anthony, Sexton, pp. 206-207.
  14. ^ U.S. State Department Records [1] Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^,3079067
  17. ^ Time. January 25, 1982,9171,925232,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ “’Spy’ Olivia back in SA once more”, Sunday Times, Johannesburg, 1 January 1989.
  19. ^ Ignatius, Adi. “Solo Act: In Beijing, Chinese Rock Star Is The Last Protester: One Year After Tiananmen, Only Hou Dejian Dares To Speak Out in Public.” Wall Street Journal (1923 - Current File). May 31, 1990.
  20. ^ "Thabo Mbeki fails to show up to African leaders' summit to solve Zimbabwe crisis". Daily Mail. London. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Honduras ex-leader Manuel Zelaya begins exile BBC NEWS AMERICAS
  24. ^ "Brazil foreign minister quits over Bolivia senator row". BBC News. August 27, 2013. 
  25. ^“assassination”-plot-against-former-president-nasheed-49444
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Radhakrishnan, R.K. "Nasheed leaves Indian embassy after 'deal'". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  30. ^ "Bosco Ntaganda: Wanted Congolese in US mission in Rwanda". BBC News. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  31. ^ "Students in Burundi seek refuge at US embassy amid political turmoil". The Guardian. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  32. ^ "100 students who sought refuge at US embassy in Burundi leave the premises". Fox News Channel. 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  33. ^ "Burundi Students Enter U.S. Embassy as Political Tensions Escalate". The New York Times. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2015-10-15.