In the Matter of 13 Seizures – Government Misconduct – CCR Docket 1988-1989

In April 1987 a delegation of people from the United States attended the International Peace Gathering in Tripoli, Libya. The individuals traveled under the  auspices  of  the Interna­tional Indian Treaty Council, the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, and other groups  representing Third World Americans.

Earlier in  the year,  President Reagan  had issued a trade embargo and declared travel to  Libya illegal under the International Emergency  Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Many people, however, believe that the executive order is illegal because IEEPA provides only for economic sanctions and the president ‘s ban in eludes hosted  travel  in  which no moneys are exchanged.

Upon returning to the U.S., the travelers were not arrested or charged with violation of  the travel ban. Customs agents, however, took books, pamphlets, posters, commemorative plates, and other materials from many of them. Customs asserted that the embargo against Libya and a law against the importation of seditious material were the bases for the sei­zures.

The groups sponsoring the travelers came to the CCR for help in securing return of the seized material and we successfully negotiated the release of the property.

Margaret Ratner, Michael Ratner, David Cole