Countries Without Extradition 2021

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Extradition is a formal, cooperative law enforcement process between two countries in which a person who is accused or convicted of a crime in the first country, but who fled to the second country, can be legally extracted from that second country and returned to the first, where they can be processed by the justice system. Ordinarily, once a person crosses a national border, representatives from the first country cannot pursue them. People seeking to evade arrest occasionally rely upon this legal loophole and cross into a different country. Extradition counteracts this tactic by establishing cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of both the first and second countries.

As advancements in technology have enabled criminal organizations to operate on an international scale, extradition has become an increasingly vital tool for law enforcement agencies. Extradition enables countries to apprehend fugitives and other wanted criminals involved in crimes such as terrorism, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, and cybercrime even if those fugitives are hiding halfway around the world—provided they are hiding in a country with which the first country has an extradition treaty.

How extradition treaties work

Extraditions between any two countries are typically regulated by an extradition treaty, which outlines the specific offenses for which a person can and cannot be extradited from that country. For example, the U.S. could not extradite draft dodgers from Canada during the Vietnam era because draft evasion was not listed as an extraditable offense on the U.S./Canada extradition treaty. However, burglary and arson were listed as eligible offenses, so anyone suspected of those crimes could be apprehended by Canadian officials and handed over to U.S. law enforcement. Extradition treaties also outline the process of requesting and processing an extradition between the two countries.

Every list of countries without extradition is different

Extradition treaties are specific to any two countries. For example, an extradition treaty between the United States and Canada would be useless if a fugitive instead went south to Mexico, so the U.S. also established a separate extradition treaty with Mexico. All told, the United States has extradition treaties with 107 countries worldwide.

However, because every country must create its own extradition treaties, the United States' list of extradition treaties is likely to vary, at least slightly, from France's list, China's list, Russia's list, and so on. Likewise, any list of countries without extradition will vary depending upon the main country in question.

Countries without extradition

With 193 United-Nations-recognized countries in the world (as well as territories and observer states), there are bound to be countries that have no extradition treaty with one another. These countries often become havens for those sought by law enforcement officials. For example, the U.S. has no extradition treaty with China. This means that a person suspected of or convicted of a crime in the U.S., but who made it to China, cannot be apprehended and forced to return to the U.S. to face trial or punishment.

Even in nations with treaties in place, geopolitical issues or legal concerns can lead to disputes over extradition. For example, countries that have extradition treaties with the United States, but which are known to often refuse extradition requests anyway include Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Iceland, Switzerland, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. On the other hand, countries such as Spain and Yemen are known for returning fugitives even without an official extradition treaty.

As a rule, extradition is highly likely when both countries involved have an established extradition treaty. When the two countries involved lack a formal treaty, but have existing diplomatic relations, extradition is entirely possible, but with reduced likelihood. Extradition is least likely in countries that have neither a treaty nor diplomatic relations with one another. However, extradition treaties are not legally binding, so any country may choose to fulfill or deny any extradition request regardless of the existence or lack of a treaty or diplomatic relationship.

The non-extradition of Edward Snowden

One of the most well-known stories surrounding the issue of extradition is the story of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who first flew to Hong Kong and then leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. When Snowden fled from Hong Kong to Russia (reportedly en route to Latin America), he was held at the Moscow airport for more than a month as authorities from several countries negotiated his possible safe passage or extradition.

Russia had proposed a treaty with the United States asking for the mutual extradition of criminals—however, the U.S. never agreed to the treaty, and because the U.S. had never extradited any Russian fugitives who had taken asylum in the United States, there was no established precedent to follow. Moreover, Snowden had not broken any Russian laws. Snowden was granted asylum in Russia, where he eventually found work, founded a San Francisco-based non-profit, wrote a successful book, and was joined by his girlfriend, who later became his wife. As of 2021, he continues to live in Russia.

Countries Without Extradition 2021

*Extradition is most likely between countries that have an established extradition treaty, and less likely in countries that lack a formal treaty, but have existing diplomatic relations. Extradition is unlikely in countries that have neither a treaty nor diplomatic relations.
Country Extradition Treaty? Diplomatic Relations w/ US
ChinaNoYes
IndonesiaNoYes
BangladeshNoYes
RussiaNoYes
EthiopiaNoYes
VietnamNoYes
DR CongoNoYes
IranNoNo diplomatic relations with U.S.
UgandaNoYes
SudanNoYes
AlgeriaNoYes
UkraineNoYes
AfghanistanNoYes
MoroccoNoYes
Saudi ArabiaNoYes
UzbekistanNoYes
AngolaNoYes
MozambiqueNoYes
YemenNoYes
NepalNoYes
MadagascarNoYes
CameroonNoYes
Ivory CoastNoYes
North KoreaNoNo diplomatic relations with U.S.
NigerNoYes
TaiwanNoTerritory not formally recognized by U.S.
Burkina FasoNoYes
MaliNoYes
KazakhstanNoYes
SyriaNoNo diplomatic relations with U.S.
SenegalNoYes
CambodiaNoYes
ChadNoYes
SomaliaNoYes
GuineaNoYes
RwandaNoYes
BeninNoYes
BurundiNoYes
TunisiaNoYes
South SudanNoYes
AzerbaijanNoTerritory not formally recognized by U.S.
United Arab EmiratesNoYes
TajikistanNoYes
BelarusNoYes
TogoNoYes
LaosNoYes
LibyaNoYes
LebanonNoYes
KyrgyzstanNoYes
TurkmenistanNoYes
OmanNoYes
PalestineNoTerritory not formally recognized by U.S.
Central African RepublicNoYes
MauritaniaNoYes
KuwaitNoYes
MoldovaNoYes
GeorgiaNoTerritory not formally recognized by U.S.
EritreaNoYes
MongoliaNoYes
ArmeniaNoYes
QatarNoYes
NamibiaNoYes
GambiaNoYes
BotswanaNoYes
GabonNoYes
Guinea BissauNoYes
BahrainNoYes
Equatorial GuineaNoYes
Timor LesteNoYes
CyprusNoTerritory not formally recognized by U.S.
DjiboutiNoYes
ComorosNoYes
BhutanNoNo diplomatic relations with U.S.
Western SaharaNoTerritory not formally recognized by U.S.
Cape VerdeNoYes
MaldivesNoYes
BruneiNoYes
VanuatuNoYes
Sao Tome And PrincipeNoYes
SamoaNoYes
AndorraNoYes
Vatican CityNoYes
IndiaYesYes
PakistanYesYes
BrazilYesYes
NigeriaYesYes
MexicoYesYes
JapanYesYes
PhilippinesYesYes
EgyptYesYes
TurkeyYesYes
GermanyYesYes
ThailandYesYes
United KingdomYesYes
FranceYesYes
TanzaniaYesYes
ItalyYesYes
South AfricaYesYes
KenyaYesYes
South KoreaYesYes
ColombiaYesYes
SpainYesYes
ArgentinaYesYes
IraqYesYes
CanadaYesYes
PolandYesYes
PeruYesYes
MalaysiaYesYes
GhanaYesYes
VenezuelaYesYes
AustraliaYesYes
Sri LankaYesYes
MalawiYesYes
ChileYesYes
RomaniaYesYes
ZambiaYesYes
GuatemalaYesYes
EcuadorYesYes
NetherlandsYesYes
ZimbabweYesYes
BoliviaYesYes
BelgiumYesYes
HaitiYesYes
CubaYesYes
Dominican RepublicYesYes
Czech RepublicYesYes
GreeceYesYes
JordanYesYes
PortugalYesYes
SwedenYesYes
HondurasYesYes
HungaryYesYes
Papua New GuineaYesYes
AustriaYesYes
IsraelYesYes
SwitzerlandYesYes
SerbiaYesYes
Sierra LeoneYesYes
Hong KongYesYes
ParaguayYesYes
BulgariaYesYes
NicaraguaYesYes
El SalvadorYesYes
SingaporeYesYes
DenmarkYesYes
Republic of the CongoYesYes
FinlandYesYes
NorwayYesYes
SlovakiaYesYes
LiberiaYesYes
Costa RicaYesYes
IrelandYesYes
New ZealandYesYes
PanamaYesYes
CroatiaYesYes
UruguayYesYes
Bosnia And HerzegovinaYesYes
JamaicaYesYes
AlbaniaYesYes
LithuaniaYesYes
LesothoYesYes
North MacedoniaYesYes
SloveniaYesYes
LatviaYesYes
Trinidad And TobagoYesYes
EstoniaYesYes
MauritiusYesYes
EswatiniYesYes
FijiYesYes
GuyanaYesYes
Solomon IslandsYesYes
LuxembourgYesYes
MontenegroYesYes
SurinameYesYes
MaltaYesYes
BelizeYesYes
BahamasYesYes
IcelandYesYes
BarbadosYesYes
Saint LuciaYesYes
KiribatiYesYes
MicronesiaYesYes
GrenadaYesYes
Saint Vincent And the GrenadinesYesYes
TongaYesYes
SeychellesYesYes
Antigua And BarbudaYesYes
DominicaYesYes
Marshall IslandsYesYes
Saint Kitts And NevisYesYes
MonacoYesYes
LiechtensteinYesYes
San MarinoYesYes
PalauYesYes
TuvaluYesYes
NauruYesYes

Countries Without Extradition 2021