Issue 96, Winter 2004/2005

In response to a lawsuit filed by PEN American Center and other groups, the Treasury Department revised regulations that embargoed books and journal articles whose authors live in Iran, Cuba, or Sudan. The Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had required that manuscripts from countries under U.S. sanctions could not be edited by U.S. publishers without government permission.

Literary, scientific, political and artistic works were subject to the restrictions as well as collaborations among scholars. Anticipating that it would be illegal for U.S. publishers to edit her memoir, Iranian writer Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her work in human rights, had joined the lawsuit. For more information, including NCAC’s statement opposing the OFAC regulations, see Censorship News #93.