Opinions on Right of asylum

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The right of asylum (sometimes called right of political asylum, from the Greek word άσυλο ) is an ancient juridical concept, under which a person persecuted by their 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 Hebrews; Descartes went to the Netherlands, Voltaire to England, Hobbes to France, and each state offered protection to persecuted foreigners.

The Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews recognized a religious "right of asylum," protecting criminals (or those accused of crime) from legal action to some extent. This principle was later adopted by the established Christian church, and various rules developed to qualify for protection and just how much protection it was.

According to the Council of Orleans in 511, in the presence of Clovis I, asylum was granted to anyone who took refuge in a church, in its dependences or in the house of a bishop. This protection was given to murderers, thieves or people accused of adultery.

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