What Countries Don’t Extradite Felons to the United States?

Countries that do not have extradition treaties with the United States – such as China, Russia and most countries in the Middle East and Africa – are not required to extradite felons, but may do so in honor of their diplomatic ties. Bhutan, Iran and North Korea are among the countries that share neither diplomatic relations nor extradition treaties with the United States, as of 2015.

Countries are not duty-bound to fulfill extradition requests from other countries with which they have no active extradition treaty. Some wealthy Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States of Kuwait do not have extradition treaty with other countries and become safe havens for felons and people who are seeking political asylum. Some countries such as France and Brazil may have active extradition treaties with the United States, but they do not extradite their own citizens at any cost.

Extradition treaties vary from country to country, and their fulfillment often depends on individual cases. Although countries bound by a treaty may request the transfer of a felon to another country, not all countries with ties with diplomatic and extradition ties may comply with the extradition request. Switzerland, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela have extradition treaties, but they may choose to protect people facing criminal charges in the United States. Countries may also choose to detain them in their own prison facilities.