Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States on suspicion of leaking national security secrets, isn't the only person to have been caught in the diplomatic limbo of an airport transit zone.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian-born refugee, famously spent nearly 18 years inside Terminal 1 of Paris'
Although he was granted the papers that were necessary for him to leave the terminal in 1999, he refused to do so until he was hospitalized in 2006. His plight was the inspiration of
Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday on what was meant to be a stopover and hasn't been seen since. The United States is seeking his extradition.
Russia says he has not passed through immigration at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport and is free to leave. He has applied for asylum in Ecuador, but an official said Wednesday it could take days, weeks or months for the country to make a decision. Venezuela has said it too would consider an asylum petition from Snowden, but has not received one.
The diplomatic maneuvering raises the possibility Snowden's stopover could stretch into weeks.
Here are some other long-term airport denizens:
The human rights activist camped out at Tokyo's Narita International Airport for three months when Chinese officials refused to allow him home in 2009. He slept in a chair, often using his suitcase as a pillow, and survived on noodles and snacks provided by passengers and supporters. Chinese authorities eventually allowed him to fly to Shanghai, where he was placed under house arrest last year.
The Japanese man spent three months at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport in 2008, living on handouts from fast-food restaurants and passengers. The authorities didn't force him to leave because he wasn't bothering anyone. He reportedly had a valid visa for Mexico and never explained the reasons for his stay.
The Iranian human rights activist spent more than nine months in the Moscow airport's transit lounge with her two children after Russia denied them entry in 2006. Canada took them in after the
The Vietnamese refugee was stranded for more than a month at