"Persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum."
Article 16 has an addition: Article 16 a, which maintains that individuals persecuted on political reasons are to be granted protection in Germany. If a person is persecuted or tortured by the state in their home country, he or she has a right to asylum ("Asylrecht"), i.e. they can move to live in Germany. Right of asylum only applies to people who come to Germany from a non-secure country. If someone enters Germany via another "safe country", Germany will not grant them asylum. But then, the individual can e.g. be recognised as a refugee. Refugee protection ("Flüchtlingsschutz ") is not regulated in the Basic Law.
Right of asylum is included in the Basic Law because, during the Nazi dictatorship, many people from Germany had found protection in other countries.