(Pub. L. 102–511, title I, § 101,Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3321.)
Pub. L. 108–347
1. SHORT TITLE.
, Oct. 20, 2004, 118 Stat. 1383
, as amended by Pub. L. 109–480
, §§ 2–4(c)(1),
,Jan. 12, 2007, 120 Stat. 3666–3672
; Pub. L. 112–82
, §§ 2–6,Jan. 3, 2012, 125 Stat. 1863–1867
, provided that:
“This Act may be cited as the ‘Belarus Democracy Act of 2004’.
“Congress finds the following:
“(1) The Government of Belarus has engaged in a pattern of clear and uncorrected violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“(2) The Government of Belarus has engaged in a pattern of clear and uncorrected violations of basic principles of democratic governance, including through a series of fundamentally flawed presidential and parliamentary elections undermining the legitimacy of executive and legislative authority in that country.
“(3) The Government of Belarus has subjected thousands of pro-democratic political activists to harassment, beatings, and jailings, particularly as a result of their attempts to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of assembly and association.
“(4) The Government of Belarus has attempted to maintain a monopoly over the country’s information space, targeting independent media, including independent journalists, for systematic reprisals and elimination, while suppressing the right to freedom of speech and expression of those dissenting from the dictatorship of Aleksandr Lukashenka, and adopted laws restricting the media, including the Internet, in a manner inconsistent with international human rights agreements.
“(5) The Government of Belarus continues a systematic campaign of harassment, repression, and closure of nongovernmental organizations, including independent trade unions and entrepreneurs, and this crackdown has created a climate of fear that inhibits the development of civil society and social solidarity.
“(6) The Government of Belarus has subjected leaders and members of select ethnic and religious minorities to harassment, including the imposition of heavy fines and denying permission to meet for religious services, sometimes by selective enforcement of the 2002 Belarus religion law.
“(7) The Government of Belarus has attempted to silence dissent by persecuting human rights and pro-democracy activists with threats, firings, expulsions, beatings and other forms of intimidation, and restrictions on freedom of movement and prohibition of international travel.
“(8) The dictator of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenka, established himself in power by orchestrating an illegal and unconstitutional referendum that enabled him to impose a new constitution, abolishing the duly elected parliament, the 13th Supreme Soviet, installing a largely powerless National Assembly, extending his term in office, and removing applicable term limits.
“(9) The Government of Belarus has failed to make a convincing effort to solve the cases of disappeared opposition figures Yuri Zakharenka, Viktor Gonchar, and Anatoly Krasovsky and journalist Dmitry Zavadsky, even though credible allegations and evidence links top officials of the Government to these disappearance.
“(10) The Government of Belarus has restricted freedom of expression on the Internet by requiring Internet Service Providers to maintain data on Internet users and the sites they view and to provide such data to officials upon request, and by creating a government body with the authority to require Internet Service Providers to block Web sites.
“(11) On December 19, 2010, the Government of Belarus conducted a presidential election that failed to meet the standards of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for democratic elections.
“(12) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election the Government of Belarus responded to opposition protests by beating scores of protestors and detaining more than 600 peaceful protestors.
“(13) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election the Government of Belarus jailed seven of the nine opposition presidential candidates and abused the process of criminal prosecution to persecute them.
“(14) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, the Government of Belarus disrupted independent broadcast and Internet media, and engaged in repressive actions against independent journalists.
“(15) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, Belarusian security services and police conducted raids targeting civil society groups, individual pro-democracy activists, and independent media.
“(16) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, Belarusian officials refused to extend the mandate of the OSCE Office in Minsk.
“(17) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, opposition candidates and activists have been persecuted and detainees have been physically mistreated, and denied access to family, defense counsel, medical treatment, and open legal proceedings.
“(18) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, lawyers representing those facing criminal charges related to the post-election protest have been subjected to the revocation of licenses, disbarment, and other forms of pressure.
“(19) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, the Government of Belarus has convicted political detainees to harsh prison sentences.
“(20) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, the United States expanded its visa ban list, imposed additional financial sanctions on certain state-owned enterprises, and initiated preparations to freeze the assets of several individuals in Belarus. The European Union imposed targeted travel and financial sanctions on an expanded list of officials of the Government of Belarus.
“(21) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, the United States fully restored sanctions against Belarus’s largest state-owned petroleum and chemical conglomerate and all of its subsidiaries.
“(22) After the December 19, 2010, presidential election, the United States has engaged in assistance efforts to provide legal and humanitarian assistance to those facing repression and preserving access to independent information, and has pledged resources to support human rights advocates, trade unions, youth and environmental groups, business associations, think-tanks, democratic political parties and movements, independent journalists, newspapers and electronic media operating both inside Belarus and broadcasting from its neighbors, and to support access of Belarusian students to independent higher education and expand exchange programs for business and civil society leaders.
“(23) The Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and other executive branch agencies have heretofore made effective use of this Act to promote the purposes of this Act, as stated in section 3 of this Act.
3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
“It is the policy of the United States to—
“(1) condemn the conduct of the December 19, 2010, presidential election and crackdown on opposition candidates, political leaders, and activists, civil society representatives, and journalists;
“(2) continue to call for the immediate release without preconditions of all political prisoners in Belarus, including all those individuals detained in connection with the December 19, 2010, presidential election;
“(3) continue to support the aspirations of the people of Belarus for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law;
“(4) continue to support the aspirations of the people of Belarus to preserve the independence and sovereignty of their country;
“(5) continue to support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in Belarus, which empower the people of Belarus to end tyranny in their country;
“(6) continue to refuse to accept the results of the fundamentally flawed December 19, 2010, presidential election held in Belarus, and to support calls for new presidential and parliamentary elections, conducted in a manner that is free and fair according to OSCE standards;
“(7) continue to call for the fulfillment by the Belarusian government of Belarus’s freely undertaken obligations as an OSCE participating state;
“(8) continue to call for a full accounting of the disappearances of opposition leaders and journalists in Belarus, including Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Yuri Zakharenka, and Dmitry Zavadsky, and the prosecution of those individuals who are in any way responsible for the disappearance of those opposition leaders and journalists;
“(9) continue to work closely with the European Union and other countries and international organizations, to promote the conditions necessary for the integration of Belarus into the European family of democracies;
“(10) call on the International Ice Hockey Federation to suspend its plan to hold the 2014 International World Ice Hockey championship in Minsk until the Government of Belarus releases all political prisoners; and
“(11) remain open to reevaluating United States policy toward Belarus as warranted by demonstrable progress made by the Government of Belarus consistent with the aims of this Act as stated in this section.
4. ASSISTANCE TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN BELARUS.
“(a) Purposes of Assistance.—The assistance under this section shall be available for the following purposes:
“(1) To assist the people of the Republic of Belarus in their pursuit of freedom, democracy, and human rights and in their aspiration to join the European community of democracies.
“(2) To encourage free, fair, and transparent presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Belarus, conducted in a manner consistent with internationally accepted standards and under the supervision of internationally recognized observers and independent domestic observers.
“(3) To assist in the development of a democratic political culture and civil society in Belarus.
“(b) Authorization for Assistance.—To carry out the purposes of subsection (a), the President is authorized to furnish assistance and other support for the activities described in subsection (c), to be provided primarily for indigenous Belarusian groups that are committed to the support of democratic processes.
“(c) Activities Supported.—Activities that may be supported by assistance under subsection (b) include—
“(1) expanding independent radio and television broadcasting to and within Belarus;
“(2) facilitating the development of independent broadcast, print, and Internet media working within Belarus and from locations outside the country and supported by nonstate-controlled printing facilities;
“(3) aiding the development of civil society through assistance to nongovernmental organizations promoting democracy and supporting human rights, including youth groups, entrepreneurs, and independent trade unions;
“(4) supporting the work of human rights defenders;
“(5) enhancing the development of democratic political parties;
“(6) assisting the promotion of free, fair, and transparent electoral processes;
“(7) enhancing international exchanges and advanced professional training programs for leaders and members of the democratic forces in skill areas central to the development of civil society; and
“(8) other activities consistent with the purposes of this Act.
“(d) Authorization of Appropriations.—
“(1) In general.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the President to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2007 and 2008.
“(2) Availability of funds.—Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until expended.
5. RADIO, TELEVISION, AND INTERNET BROADCASTING TO BELARUS.
“It is the sense of Congress that the President should support radio, television, and Internet broadcasting to the people of Belarus in languages spoken in Belarus, by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, European Radio for Belarus, and Belsat.
6. SANCTIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF BELARUS.
“(a) Application of Sanctions.—The sanctions described in subsections (c) through (f) should apply with respect to the Republic of Belarus until the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Belarus has made significant progress in meeting the conditions described in subsection (b).
“(b) Conditions.—The conditions referred to in subsection (a) are the following:
“(1) The release of individuals in Belarus who have been jailed based on political or religious beliefs or expression, including those individuals jailed based on political beliefs or expression in connection with repression that attended the presidential election of December 19, 2010.
“(2) The withdrawal of politically motivated legal charges against all opposition activists and independent journalists in Belarus, including politically motivated legal charges made in connection with repression that attended the presidential election of December 19, 2010.
“(3) A full accounting of the disappearances of opposition leaders and journalists in Belarus, including Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Yuri Zakharenka, and Dmitry Zavadsky, and the prosecution of those individuals who are in any way responsible for their disappearances.
“(4) The cessation of all forms of harassment and repression against the independent media, independent trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, youth groups, religious organizations (including their leadership and members), and the political opposition in Belarus.
“(5) The prosecution of senior leadership of the Government of Belarus responsible for the administration of fraudulent elections and violations of human rights, including violations of human rights committed in connection with the presidential election of December 19, 2010.
“(6) A full accounting of the embezzlement of state assets by senior leadership of the Government of Belarus, their family members, and other associates.
“(7) The holding of free, fair and transparent presidential and parliamentary elections in Belarus consistent with OSCE standards and under the supervision of OSCE observers and independent domestic observers.
“(c) Denial of Entry Into the United States of Senior Leadership of the Government of Belarus.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the President may exercise the authority under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8
) to deny the entry into the United States of any alien who—
“(1) holds a position in the senior leadership of the Government of Belarus;
“(2) is an immediate family member of a person inadmissible under paragraph (1);
“(3) through his or her business dealings with senior leadership of the Government of Belarus derives significant financial benefit from policies or actions, including electoral fraud, human rights abuses, or corruption, that undermine or injure democratic institutions or impede the transition to democracy in Belarus;
“(4) is a member of any branch of the security or law enforcement services of Belarus and has participated in the violent crackdown on opposition leaders, journalists, and peaceful protestors that occurred in connection with the presidential election of December 19, 2010; or
“(5) is a member of any branch of the security or law enforcement services of Belarus and has participated in the persecution or harassment of religious groups, human rights defenders, democratic opposition groups, or independent media or journalists.
“(d) Prohibition on Loans and Investment.—
“(1) United states government financing.—It is the sense of Congress that no loan, credit guarantee, insurance, financing, or other similar financial assistance should be extended by any agency of the Government of the United States (including the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation) to the Government of Belarus, except with respect to the provision of humanitarian goods and agricultural or medical products.
“(2) Trade and development agency.—It is the sense of Congress that no funds available to the Trade and Development Agency should be available for activities of the Agency in or for Belarus.
“(e) Multilateral Financial Assistance.—The Secretary of the Treasury should instruct the United States Executive Director at each international financial institution of which the United States is a member to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose any extension by those institutions of any financial assistance (including any technical assistance or grant) of any kind to the Government of Belarus, except for loans and assistance that serve humanitarian needs.
“(f) Blocking of Assets and Other Prohibited Activities.—
“(1) Blocking of assets.—It is the sense of Congress that the President should block all property and interests in property, including all commercial, industrial, or public utility undertakings or entities, that, on or after the date of the enactment of the Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2006 [Jan. 12, 2007]—
“(A) are owned, in whole or in part, by the Government of Belarus, or by any member or family member closely linked to any member of the senior leadership of the Government of Belarus, or any person who through his or her business dealings with senior leadership of the Government of Belarus derives significant financial benefit from policies or actions, including electoral fraud, human rights abuses, or corruption, that undermine or injure democratic institutions or impede the transition to democracy in Belarus; and
“(B) are in the United States, or in the possession or control of the Government of the United States or of any United States financial institution, including any branch or office of such financial institution that is located outside the United States.
“(2) Prohibited activities.—Activities prohibited by reason of the blocking of property and interests in property under paragraph (1) should include—
“(A) payments or transfers of any property, or any transactions involving the transfer of anything of economic value by any United States person, to the Government of Belarus, to any person or entity acting for or on behalf of, or owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by that government, or to any member of the senior leadership of the Government of Belarus;
“(B) the export or reexport to any entity owned, controlled, or operated by the Government of Belarus, directly or indirectly, of any goods, technology, or services, either—
“(i) by a United States person; or
“(ii) involving the use of any air carrier or a vessel documented under the laws of the United States; and
“(C) the performance by any United States person of any contract, including a contract providing a loan or other financing, in support of an industrial, commercial, or public utility operated, controlled, or owned by the Government of Belarus.
“(3) Payment of expenses.—All expenses incident to the blocking and maintenance of property blocked under paragraph (1) should be charged to the owners or operators of such property. Such expenses may not be paid from blocked funds.
“(4) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit any contract or other financial transaction with any private or nongovernmental organization or business in Belarus.
“(5) Exceptions.—Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to—
“(A) assistance authorized under section 4 or 5 of this Act; or
“(B) medicine, medical equipment or supplies, food, as well as any other form of humanitarian assistance provided to Belarus as relief in response to a humanitarian crisis.
“(6) Penalties.—Any person who violates any prohibition or restriction imposed under this subsection should be subject to the penalties under section
 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50
) to the same extent as for a violation under that Act [50
“(7) Definitions.—In this subsection:
“(A) Air carrier.—The term ‘air carrier’ has the meaning given that term in section
, United States Code.
“(B) United states person.—The term ‘United States person’ means—
“(i) any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence to the United States;
“(ii) any entity organized under the laws of the United States; and
“(iii) any person in the United States.
7. MULTILATERAL COOPERATION.
“It is the sense of Congress that the President should continue to seek the support of other countries, particularly European countries, for a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to further the purposes of this Act, including, as appropriate, encouraging other countries to take measures with respect to the Republic of Belarus that are similar to measures described in this Act.
“(a) Report.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011 [Pub. L. 112–82
, approved Jan. 3, 2012], and not later than 1 year thereafter, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that describes, with respect to the preceding 12-month period, and to the extent practicable the following:
“(1) The sale or delivery or provision of weapons or weapons-related technologies or weapons-related training from the Republic of Belarus to any country, the government of which the Secretary of State has determined, for purposes of section 6(j)(1) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 App.
), has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.
“(2) An identification of each country described in paragraph (1) and a detailed description of the weapons or weapons-related technologies or weapons-related training involved in the sale or delivery or provision.
“(3) An identification of the goods, services, credits, or other consideration received by Belarus in exchange for the weapons or weapons-related technologies or weapons-related training described in paragraph (1).
“(4) The personal assets and wealth of Aleksandr Lukashenka and other senior leadership of the Government of Belarus.
“(5) The cooperation of the Government of Belarus with any foreign government or organization for purposes related to the censorship or surveillance of the Internet, or the purchase or receipt by the Government of Belarus of any technology or training from any foreign government or organization for purposes related to the censorship or surveillance of the Internet.
“(b) Form.—A report transmitted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.
“In this Act:
“(1) Appropriate congressional committees.—The term ‘appropriate congressional committees’ means the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
“(2) OSCE.—The term ‘OSCE’ means the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
“(3) Senior leadership of the government of belarus.—The term ‘senior leadership of the Government of Belarus’ includes—
“(A) the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, government ministers, Chairmen of State Committees, governors, heads of state enterprises, and members of the Presidential Administration of Belarus;
“(B) any official of the Government of Belarus who—
“(i) is personally and substantially involved in the suppression of freedom in Belarus, including judges, prosecutors, and heads of professional associations and educational institutions; or
“(ii) is otherwise engaged in public corruption in Belarus; and
“(C) any other individual determined by the Secretary of State (or the Secretary’s designee) to be personally and substantially involved in the formulation or execution of the policies of the Government of Belarus that are in contradiction of internationally recognized human rights standards.”
[Pub. L. 109–480
, § 4(c)(2),Jan. 12, 2007, 120 Stat. 3668
, provided that: “The amendment made by paragraph (1) [amending section 4(d)(1) ofPub. L. 108–347
, set out in the note above] shall not be construed to affect the availability of funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under section 4(d) of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 [Pub. L. 108–347
] (as redesignated) before the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 12, 2007].”]
Presidential Report on Funding for New Independent States of Former Soviet Union
Pub. L. 103–306
, title II, Aug. 23, 1994, 108 Stat. 1617
, provided in part that: “(o) The report required by subsection (d) under the heading ‘Assistance for the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union’, contained in Public Law 102–391 [set out below], shall be updated at least annually and shall also contain a listing of all grants and contracts issued from funds appropriated annually for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, to include for each grant and contract (1) a description of its purpose, (2) its amount, and (3) the country where the grant or contract funds are to be expended.”
Pub. L. 102–391
, title III, Oct. 6, 1992, 106 Stat. 1650
, provided in part that: “(d) Reports.—The President shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations containing the amount of funds obligated and expended for each project and subproject funded from amounts appropriated under this heading for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union. The report required by this subsection shall be submitted to the Committees on Appropriations no later than January 1, 1993, and an update of this report shall be submitted by the President to those Committees no later than July 1, 1993.”