Purpose: To explain the concept of political asylum and give examples of cases. I. Background
1. Right to seek shelter somewhere if one has reasonable fear of persecution. 2. Asylum = individual who seeks official protection to remain in the country vs illegal immigrants B. Development
1. Created by the Greeks
a. To protect abused slaves.
b. Also to house fugitives from other city-states. 2. Adapted by the Christian Church
a. Asylum given to anyone in church, or in bishop’s house. b. “Churches were now designated as places of sanctuary…” (Dunne 117) C. Modern
1. UN guides national legislation.
a. 1951 Convention Relating to Status of Refugees Protected grounds: race, nationality, religion, political opinions, sexual orientation and membership/participation in social group. b. Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution…this right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non political crimes…” (Dunne 123). 2. Political Tool
a. Can lead to tensions between nations. b. Granting asylum implies accusing the other country of illegally persecuting its citizens. c. Cuba v. United States
a. “…the mainly executive but also partly judicial whereby an escapee is denied asylum…and surrendered by one sovereign power to another for trial and punishment of criminal offenses” (Dunne 119). b. Julian Assange facing rape charges in Sweden, but currently being held in UK. UK has ordered extradition to Sweden, which he is appealing. II. Modern Cases