What is political asylum?

What Does political asylum Mean

The term asylum refers to the help, shelter or protection that is provided to a person. Political , for its part, is a concept with several uses: in this case we are interested in its meaning as that linked to political activity (actions carried out to manage or administer public affairs).

The asylum is the assistance that is given to a foreign individual who had to flee or were expelled from their country for reasons related to politics . This type of asylum is usually understood as the right of a subject not to be extradited from one nation to another that seeks to punish him for his political opinions or activities.

On the other hand, there is the concept of diplomatic asylum , which serves to describe the permanence in an extension of the national territory of a person persecuted by his country to be tried for a political crime. Among the sites that are considered part of this group, according to diplomatic conventions, we have the following: the residence of the ambassador, a warship temporarily anchored in a foreign port, the headquarters of the consulate or embassy.
The poet and jurist Hugo Grotius, born in the Netherlands on April 10, 1583, one of the greatest defenders of the absolute State, was the author of the thesis of extraterritoriality of the Embassies and Legations , where he stated that diplomatic asylum occurred naturally when the persecuted person was received by foreign soil , which is why protection was not only given if he managed to cross the borders of his country but also if he was asylum in an Embassy or Legation of a foreign country. At present, this type of asylum is not recognized by international law.
The history of the asylum is extensive and its trajectory is worth studying carefully to appreciate its evolution. At first, it was a measure within the sphere of religion, which was carried out to provide protection to individuals who violated the law without participating in conflicts of a political nature, that is, to common criminals. Since the rulers did not show any kind of mercy for these people, asylum was reserved for them exclusively, leaving out political criminals.
The Reform generated an investment in this point of view, and thus over the years this social institution began to orient itself to the people persecuted by the rulers because of their ideals, and stopped benefiting common criminals.
Regarding the space in which political asylum can be offered, it is worth mentioning that religious buildings were used since ancient times and until times after the Middle Ages; Today, however, the totality of the lands of a foreign State is used to grant political asylum.

The right to asylum is regulated by various international standards that establish obligations and responsibilities for host countries and for individuals requesting asylum. The purpose of political asylum is to protect the person who, for his political ideas or actions, suffers persecution in his country. If the host country rejects asylum and the individual must return to his land, he may be imprisoned or otherwise punished there.
With regard to the extension of the right to political asylum, we must distinguish the following four points: the right that a country has to grant asylum to an individual persecuted by its government; the active exercise of said right; the tolerance of such exercise; the acceptance of political asylum as a concept that allows a person to be protected against political persecution .

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