I am a Syrian refugee who escaped the war! In my country I am considered an outlaw for doing this. I currently live in Romania and I need to visit the embassy to renew my Syrian passport as they officially announced that they are renewing passports, even for people who are outlaws.

Now, could I be arrested for breaking the Syrian law inside the embassy of Syria in Romania? And maybe later be transferred back to Syria?

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    In fact, given the important repercussions of such a question, I would advise trying to get the answer with any institution with direct experience in the issue: NGOs in Romania who deal with Syrian refugees, Romanian police or even the Romanian Foreign Ministry.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 12:42
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    IMPORTANT: If you claim protection from your home country, you may lose your protection status. And asking for renewal (or using) the Syrian passport may qualify as such (after all, you are using the services of the country you claim you had to flee from). This page is for the Canadian government (could not find the Romanian one), it explains it very clearly. As before, check carefully before doing anything ccrweb.ca/en/cessation-basic-information
    – SJuan76
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 12:52
  • Since the Syrian embassy is legally Syrian territory, I would assume they could and would.
    – user10137
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 20:24
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    User from Law.SE here. This above comment is legally incorrect. The Syrian Embassy is not legally Syrian Territory. The host country has not ceded this land to Syria, they have provided guarantees that they will not infringe on the land. Very different things. Additionally, any crimes committed at an embassy are prosecutable by the host country (unless some kind of immunity applies, such as diplomatic).
    – Viktor
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:53
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1 Answer 1


Even if they 'arrest' you, they will still have to detain you in some kind of a facility, something unlikely to be a part of any embassy, and that's assuming they even have the personnel available to conduct such an arrest and detention. Also, they still have to transport you through Romanian territory to Syria. Whether or not you have sought protection, that would require some kind of agreement between Syrian and Romanian authorities to allow that to take place. There is an extradition treaty between Syria and Romania, but that is for crimes of a very serious nature and I'm not sure how that applies anyway since you would have been arrested by, and in custody of, Syrians.

No. I think your biggest issues are:

  • If they would issue you another passport at all (some countries deny passports to those accused of crimes).

  • Whether letting the embassy know your location would not invoke a response from Syria asking Romania to take you into custody and extradite you.

  • As mentioned in the comments above, if you have applied for refugee status in Romania because you fear persecution from the Syrian government, then you would very likely lose that status (or relinquish the claim thereof) if you avail yourself to that same Syrian government for consular services.

Edit: Assassination of Jamal Khashoggi

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    Considering some recent events, you might want to be a bit more careful. This answer still applies I suppose, but there is some recent example that the leadership of these countries may feel they are above the law.
    – ouflak
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 11:11

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