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Court Upholds Fine for Unauthorized Iraq Trip

(CN) - A Wisconsin man was rightfully fined $8,000 for traveling to Iraq without government permission, the 7th Circuit ruled. Ryan Clancy traveled to Iraq in 2003 and served as a "human shield" to prevent the United States from bombing Iraq.

Clancy was fined by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The sanctions were set in place by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Clancy challenged the travel restrictions and claimed that his freedoms were compromised. The district court ruled in favor of the government, and Judge Williams of the Chicago-based federal appeals court upheld the decision.

Clancy was not denied due process, Williams ruled, because he failed to contest OFAC's allegations regarding his unauthorized travel.

Williams also ruled that the Presidential sanctions did not unlawfully deny his First Amendment freedom of speech rights, nor his Fifth Amendment freedom of travel rights.

"Clancy provides no evidentiary support for his contention that the government selectively enforces these regulations to penalize only those who speak out publicly to oppose American policy in Iraq," Williams wrote.

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