Can I escape arrest by entering an embassy?

  • Police are not allowed to enter embassies by force.

    Would I be able to therefore escape arrest if I entered my country's embassy? What about if I entered a random embassy?

    Please also advise whether this would differ between countries (e.g. a UK embassy would provide protection but a USA one wouldn't).

    Note: this is a hypothetical situation!

    Police are allowed to enter embassies if they are invited to do so.

    It probably depends of the embassy's country, and the country where it is, and what you would be wanted for. But if you come running with the police behind you, depending on the country, it is likely that you are simply denied entry in the embassy.

    Basically yes and there are famous examples. The real question is “Can you enter an embassy [and remain there]?” That does not depend only on you.

    If you entered a *random* embassy, the most likely thing to happen is that the security staff would probably just push you back out the door and into the arms of the waiting policemen

    Hello? 112? Yeah, we got a crazy person in our embassy. Can you please send help as soon as possible?

  • Kennah

    Kennah Correct answer

    6 years ago

    Legally, it is going to depend upon your country's embassy, the random embassy, the extradition agreements in force between the two nations, the current political conditions between the two nations at the time the request for extradition is both made and executed, and the crime for which you are being sought. Extradition laws are as complex as they are numerous. If there is no extradition treaty or agreement between the two nations, then there is no mechanism to return you to the nation that seeks to arrest you. For US extradition law, see 18 USC 3181.

    Practically, it is going to depend upon your country's embassy, the random embassy, the extradition agreements in force between the two nations, and the current political conditions at the time you are in the embassy. It is not impossible that in times of upheaval one nation might invade and seize the embassy of another.

    There have been many attacks on embassies and diplomatic missions, and certainly not all of them have been accidents. One of the most infamous was the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979. The movie "Argo" made famous "The Canadian Caper" in which six American embassy workers escaped into the streets of Tehran, and hid out in the Canadian, British, New Zealand, and I believe Swedish embassies--though they spent the most time in the Canadian embassy. Had they been discovered, the embassy would have been likely attacked and everyone inside taken hostage. Subterfuge and exfiltration were necessary to get them out of Iran safely.

    There have been a few high profile cases over the years in which a person sought refuge within an embassy. Manuel Noriega, József Mindszenty, and Morgan Tsvangirai are a few. Mindszenty was granted political asylum at the United States embassy in Budapest, and lived there for 15 years before being allowed to leave Hungary. Just because one is safely inside an embassy, even if there is little to no risk that the host nation would lay siege to the embassy, one cannot smuggle out a person inside of a diplomatic pouch. Once you leave the physical property of the embassy, one is again on the soil of the host nation and subject to their laws.

    And there's Julian Assange.

    "If there is no extradition treaty or agreement between the two nations, then there is no mechanism to return you to the nation that seeks to arrest you" -- This isn't actually necessarily true. Some countries will not extradite without treaties, but others are willing to in some cases (e.g. according to the source you cite, clause (b), the US will extradite without treaty if someone committed a violent crime against a US national abroad).

    More relevantly, an embassy doesn't have to extradite you -- all they have to do is say "nope, you can't stay here," at which point the local police arrest you when you leave. Likewise, they can generally invite in local police to arrest you without any form of extradition proceeding, because you are still in local territory (embassies are _not_ the territory of the sending country, police just can't enter without permission). They _can_ give asylum, but do not have to, and need not have a formal procedure to throw you out in most cases.

    @cpast - That deserves to be its own answer.

    Honestly, I do not fully understand what you guys saying including Kennah's answer because used too much vocabulary words. You guys are qualified to be lawmakers. But I fully understood your dialogue, "nope, you can't stay here".

    Please note that the OP's question was "Can I escape arrest by entering an embassy?" not "Will I escape arrest by entering an embassy?"

    What OP question and I cannot find "Will I escape arrest by entering an embassy?" using search bar of this site. And I am so fed up with the strict rules, the question obviously different! "Can I" and "Will I" are two difference, did you pass your English?

    *The movie "Argo" made famous* Trust me in the US the iranian hostage incident was already famous.

    @Chad I don't know about you, but I'd never heard of the Canadian involvement before that movie (my knowledge was "Iranian revolution, Americans taken hostage, special ops rescue attempt fails badly, Carter loses, hostages released on the day Reagan is sworn in").

    There was a thing on history channel on it back when they still did history stuff. But even though you may not have known the canadian involvement I bet you knew at least the basics of the hostage situation.

    @SoylentGray the statement is that Argo made the Canadian caper famous, not that it made the hostage crisis famous.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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