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Federal appeals court upholds Iraq travel ban fine against US humanitarian

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday upheld a $10,000 fine levied by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) [official website] against a US man who willfully violated the 1990-2003 international embargo [UNESCO backgrounder] against Iraq to deliver medicine and other humanitarian supplies. Bertram Sacks sued OFAC [complaint text], challenging the OFAC's ability to penalize the donation of food or medicine to relieve human suffering, activities he argued were protected by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act [text].

In the Ninth Circuit's opinion [PDF text], Judge Wardlaw found that Sacks did not have standing to challenge the OFAC ban on delivering medicine because OFAC only fined him for violating the travel ban. The court also found that the OFAC fine against Sacks for violating the travel ban was authorized by the United Nations Participation Act (UNPA) [PDF text]. Reuters has more.

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