Right of asylum  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Right of asylum (or political asylum, Template:Lang-gr [1]) is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries (as in medieval times). This right has its roots in a longstanding Western tradition—although it was already recognized by the Egyptians, the Greeks and the HebrewsDescartes went to the Netherlands, Voltaire to England, Hobbes to France (followed by many English nobles during the English Civil War), etc.; each state offered protection to foreign persecuted persons.

Political asylum is similar, but not identical, to modern refugee law, which deals with massive influx of population, while the right of asylum concerns individuals and is usually delivered on a case-to-case basis. There is overlap between the two because each refugee may demand political asylum on an individual basis.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Right of asylum" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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