Summary: H.R.854 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law No: 108-347 (10/20/2004)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on October 4, 2004. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 - (Sec. 3) Authorizes the President to support primarily indigenous Belarusian groups that are committed to the support of democratic processes in various activities that may include: (1) observation of elections and the promotion of free and fair electoral processes, including the development of democratic political parties; (2) development of independent media supported by nonstate-controlled printing facilities; (3) support of human rights; and (4) establishment of international exchanges and advanced professional training programs for leaders and members of democratic forces that foster the growth of civil society. Authorizes FY 2005 and 2006 appropriations for such activities.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes FY 2005 and 2006 appropriations for indigenous-language radio broadcasting to Belarus.

(Sec. 5) Expresses the sense of Congress that specified U.S. and multilateral loan and financial sanctions (with humanitarian, agricultural, or medical exceptions) should apply to Belarus until the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Belarus has made significant progress in meeting the following conditions: (1) release of individuals who have been jailed for political or religious beliefs; (2) withdrawal of politically motivated legal charges against all opposition figures and independent journalists; (3) accounting of the disappearances of opposition leaders and journalists, including Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Yuri Zakharenka, and Dmitry Zavadsky, and the prosecution of responsible individuals; (4) cessation of harassment and repression against the independent media, independent trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, religious organizations, and the political opposition; and (5) implementation of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections.

(Sec. 6) Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should seek a multilateral strategy, particularly with the countries of Europe, to further the purposes of this Act.

(Sec. 7) Directs the President to report with respect to: (1) weapons-related activities by Belarus; and (2) the personal wealth of Aleksander Lukashenka and other senior leadership.

(Sec. 8) Declares congressional policy: (1) respecting the persecution and disappearance of journalists and political opponents in Belarus; and (2) commending the democratic opposition in Belarus.

(Sec. 9) Defines specified terms.