Political Asylum is a Human Right

We are very familiar with the words political case and political asylum. Both are mostly inter-related with each other. Actually political case is not only cover legal activities also cover few matters by which a person thinks that he frightened in his own state and then he may seek for asylum to any foreign state which is known as political asylum. Those few matters are mainly religious, political opinions, member of particular social group, social activities, personal lifestyle, sexual orientation etc are the reason behind the political asylum. Victim of political asylum actually feel threaten or harm or blemish which is against as well as violation of human rights. A person has few rights which are entitled by him from the very beginning of his life; those rights are called as human rights. Political Asylum is most one of them. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that…..
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
This article clarifies that asylum is an international human rights which can claim to any foreign state and foreign state also bound to provide that right except few circumstances. Basically by treaty and custom, peoples are enjoying asylum rights throughout the world. But one thing should remember that providing asylum is a scope to showing humanitarian attitude for any state. The way of seeking asylum is various in natures. Basically there are two ways of asylum can provide by any state or can be get by any victim.
1. Territorial Asylum and
2. Extra-territorial Asylum.
Territorial Asylum is the traditional asylum which is randomly known by all. A victim who is seeking asylum he or she may go to any prospective state, that state may provide asylum in their territory. We know according to Article 14 of the UDHR asylum is a human right, so any prospective state can’t refuse any victim. But here is few condition, actually safeguard for asylum providing states. In two situations a state is not bound to provide asylum to any victim. Number one, if prospective state feels that their state security may hamper by providing asylum. Number two, if the victim or asylum seeker proved as hardcore offender in his state. But it also mentioned that no state will restore any victim if he already entered into prospective state or border. If possible prospective state will provide asylum, otherwise they will send them to any other country where they may be able to get asylum which is no practicing in Australia.
Extra-territorial Asylum is the wider sense of territory of a state. Suppose, American embassy in Bangladesh, although embassy situated in Bangladesh but that’s not the territory of us. Like that every embassy treated as their own territory. From that point of view, a victim can seek asylum from any foreign embassy in his own state. This type of asylum is also known as ‘Diplomatic Asylum’. This theory developed by the custom which is generally practicing in Latin America. In the year 1950 a case named ‘Asylum Case’ was between Colombia and Peru established this principle in the history of asylum. Case was heard in International Court of Justice (ICJ). In mentioned case a citizen of Peru who was political asylum seeker entered into Colombian embassy and got asylum. But Peru denies accepting this asylum, they went to ICJ and ICJ accepted the plea of Peru. Because the asylum seeker was actually serious offender in his country but ICJ mentioned that the way of seeking asylum was not illegal. From that case diplomatic asylum became popular in Latin and still practicing. But in our subcontinent this theory is not so practiced.
Another famous extra-territorial asylum format is Ship. We know that every ship carry a state territory and that is identified by the flag. I mean, a ship also a territory of its flag state which flag that ship carrying. Business and war ship can be a foreign territory. From that point of view, a ship can be a foreign territory where an asylum seeker can seek asylum. That’s all about the political asylum and the ways it can get as well as provide.

Chowdhury Tanbir Ahamed Siddique,
Legal Researcher & PhD Candidate
Email: tanbir 921535513@gmail.com


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