August 6, 2004 18:12 | Bits / Political

"UN travel documents for a stateless person"

Bloomberg: Bobby Fischer wants to give up his US citizenship

Onetime world chess champion Bobby Fischer has submitted to the U.S. embassy in Tokyo a letter of intent to renounce his U.S. citizenship, said John Bosnitch, the head of the Free Bobby Fischer Committee.

Bosnitch said he handed the three-page, handwritten letter to an embassy guard and asked it be delivered "urgently'' to a consular officer, he said in a telephone interview.

"I believe this renunciation has full validity under the law,'' Bosnitch quoted Fischer as writing in the letter.

"Bobby Fischer is sick and tired of how he has been treated by the U.S. for the past 12 years,'' Bosnitch said. "The letter is a statement of renunciation of U.S. citizen ship by Bobby Fischer, and he issues that statement unilaterally.''

Fischer's attorney Masako Suzuki today filed suit against Tokyo immigration officials seeking to overturn cancellation of his permission to land in Japan and a deportation order, Bosnitch said.

The support committee is seeking to have Fischer recognized as a "stateless person'' and an international refugee by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and obtain UN travel documents for him, Bosnitch said.

Wait a second... one can DO this? I mean, the "Stateless Person" and UN travel documents part?! Do you have to be a refugee or politically persecuted?! What if I just don't want any citizenship?!

Where do i sign?!
(Not that being Canadian is bad, far from it... just.. curious I guess... ;)


Funnily enough, I was just a toddler the first time I claimed that I didn't want any citiziship, especially not a Canadian one. Recently, though, I learned that a Canadian cannot simply renounce citizenship:

1) you need to fill a detailed form explaining why you must renounce citizenship; insufficient reason can be a motive for denial.

2) you must pay a 100 CAD processing fee.

3) you are only allowed to renounce citizenship if you already have another citizenship or otherwise have written proof that another state is about to grant you citizenship, otherwise your renounciation application will automatically be rejected.

While a loss of citizenship is a necessity for me, the above seems to suggest that I would be denied. *sigh*

Could I sign too????

:))) I'll be more than happy.

Hmmmm... seems like a pretty complicated process. Would probably be easier to buy your own tiny island in some God-Forsaken part of Quebec, and declare independence. Alot funner too!

Waddya say guys? Let's buy an island, declare independence and create our own citizenship. I hereby name myself Emperor of [Empire name TBD], and I decree that ye shall pay me a 50% tribute in [currency name TBD] every month. Also, the Emperor secures any and all deflowering rights. Failing these conditions, I will smite Ye / Cast Ye into exile.

So that's where Bobby Fischer is.... I always thought he was in like Poland or someplace.

It's a rather romantic idea of being a stateless person but when reality sets in so does the idea of what a nightmare it could be.

For example, legal rights and human rights would be difficult to apply to someone who did not have a country to back them up. If any country chose to detain you, you could simply disapear and no country would ever come looking for you. You could never appeal to a consulate or diplomat to intervene on your behalf and essentially you wouldn't exist.

Sure, you wouldn't need to pay taxes but you'd have to appeal to live somewhere or else you'd have to be on the move constantly. The only permanent home you could have would be a boat in international waters.

Without a country of origin you could never apply for internet/phone/cable/satellite/etc. service because you need a permanent residence for such things. The same goes for employment.

I'm sure there are loop holes but it's not much of a life, if you ask me.

Yup. It's not for everyone, Paolo.