Text: H.R.5948 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 109-480 (01/12/2007)
[109th Congress Public Law 480]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
BELARUS DEMOCRACY REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2006
[[Page 120 STAT. 3666]]
Public Law 109-480
To reauthorize the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004. <<NOTE: Jan. 12,
2007 - [H.R. 5948]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Belarus
Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2006.>>
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 22 USC 5801 note.>> SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Section 2 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note)
is amended to read as follows:
``SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
``Congress makes the following findings:
``(1) The Government of the Republic 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 most recent presidential elections in Belarus held
on March 19, 2006, failed to meet the commitments of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for
democratic elections and the arbitrary use of state power and
widespread detentions show a disregard for the basic rights of
freedom of assembly, association, and expression, and raise
doubts regarding the willingness of authorities in Belarus to
tolerate political competition.
``(4) The regime of Aleksandr Lukashenka has maintained
power in Belarus by orchestrating an illegal and
unconstitutional referendum that enabled him to impose a new
constitution, abolish the duly-elected parliament, the 13th
Supreme Soviet, install a largely powerless National Assembly,
extend his term of office, and remove applicable term limits.
``(5) The Government of Belarus has failed to make a
credible effort to solve the cases of disappeared opposition
figures Yuri Zakharenka, Viktor Gonchar, and Anatoly Krasovsky
in 1999 and journalist Dmitry Zavadsky in 2000, even though
credible allegations and evidence exist linking top officials of
the Lukashenka regime with these disappearances.
[[Page 120 STAT. 3667]]
``(6) Political opposition figures Aleksandr Kozulin,
Tsimafei Dranchuk, Mikalay Astreyka, Artur Finkevich, Mikalay
Razumau, Katsyaryna Sadouskaya, Zmitser Dashkevich, Mikhail
Marynich, Mikalay Statkevych, Pavel Sevyarinets, Andrei Klimau,
Valery Levaneusky, and Siarhei Skrebets have been imprisoned or
served `corrective labor' sentences because of their political
``(7) Hundreds of pro-democratic political activists have
been subjected to frequent harassment and jailings, especially
during, and in the aftermath of the fatally flawed March 19,
2006, presidential elections in Belarus.
``(8) The Government of Belarus has attempted to maintain a
monopoly over the country's information space, targeting
independent media for systematic reprisals and elimination,
while suppressing the right to freedom of speech and expression
of those dissenting from the regime.
``(9) The Belarusian authorities have perpetuated a climate
of fear in Belarus by mounting a systematic crackdown on civil
society through the harassment, repression, and closure of
nongovernmental organizations and independent trade unions.
``(10) The Lukashenka regime has increasingly subjected
leaders and members of minority and unregistered religious
communities to harassment, including the imposition of heavy
fines, denying permission to meet for religious services,
prosecutions, and jail terms for activities in the practice of
``(11) The Belarusian authorities have further attempted to
silence dissent through retribution against human rights and
pro-democracy activists through threats, firings, expulsions,
beatings and other forms of intimidation.''.
SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
The Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note) is amended--
(1) by striking section 8;
(2) by redesignating sections 3 through 7 as sections 4
through 8, respectively; and
(3) by inserting after section 2 the following new section:
``SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
``It is the policy of the United States--
``(1) to call upon the immediate release without
preconditions of all political prisoners in Belarus;
``(2) to support the aspirations of the people of the
Republic of Belarus for democracy, human rights, and the rule of
``(3) to support the aspirations of the people of the
Republic of Belarus to preserve the independence and sovereignty
of their country;
``(4) to seek and support the growth of democratic movements
and institutions in Belarus, with the ultimate goal of ending
tyranny in that country;
``(5) to refuse to accept the results of the fatally flawed
March 19, 2006, presidential elections held in Belarus and
support the call for new presidential elections;
``(6) to refuse to recognize any possible referendum, or the
results of any referendum, that would affect the sovereignty of
[[Page 120 STAT. 3668]]
``(7) to work closely with other countries and international
organizations, including the European Union, to promote the
conditions necessary for the integration of Belarus into the
European community of democracies.''.
SEC. 4. ASSISTANCE TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN
(a) Purposes of Assistance.--Section 4(a) of the Belarus Democracy
Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note) (as redesignated) is amended--
(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``regaining their freedom
and to enable them'' and inserting ``their pursuit of freedom,
democracy, and human rights and in their aspiration'';
(2) in paragraph (2)--
(A) by striking ``free and fair'' and inserting
``free, fair, and transparent''; and
(B) by adding at the end before the period the
following: ``and independent domestic observers''; and
(3) in paragraph (3), by striking ``restoring and
strengthening institutions of democratic governance'' and
inserting ``the development of a democratic political culture
and civil society''.
(b) Activities Supported.--Section 4(c) of the Belarus Democracy Act
of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note) (as redesignated) is amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraphs (6) and (7) as paragraphs
(7) and (8), respectively;
(2) by striking paragraphs (1) through (5) and inserting the
following new paragraphs:
``(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
``(6) assisting the promotion of free, fair, and transparent
electoral processes;''; and
(3) in paragraph (7) (as redesignated), by inserting
``enhancing'' before ``international exchanges''.
(c) Authorization of Appropriations.--
(1) Amendment.--Section 4(d)(1) of the Belarus Democracy Act
of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note) (as redesignated) is amended by
striking ``2005 and 2006'' and inserting ``2007 and 2008''.
(2) Rule of construction.--The <<NOTE: 22 USC 5811
note.>> amendment made by paragraph (1) 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 (as redesignated) before the date
of the enactment of this Act.
[[Page 120 STAT. 3669]]
SEC. 5. RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTING TO BELARUS.
(a) Purpose.--Section 5(a) of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (22
U.S.C. 5811 note) (as redesignated) is amended by striking ``radio
broadcasting'' and inserting ``radio and television broadcasting''.
(b) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 5(b) of the Belarus
Democracy Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note) (as redesignated) is amended
by striking ``radio broadcasting'' and inserting ``radio and television
(c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 5 of the Belarus Democracy Act of
2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note) (as redesignated) is amended in the heading
by striking ``radio broadcasting'' and inserting ``radio and television
SEC. 6. SANCTIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF BELARUS.
Section 6 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note)
(as redesignated) is amended to read as follows:
``SEC. 6. SANCTIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF BELARUS.
``(a) Application of Sanctions.--
The <<NOTE: President. Certification.>> 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) Conditions.--The conditions referred to in subsection (a) are
``(1) The release of individuals in Belarus who have been
jailed based on political or religious beliefs.
``(2) The withdrawal of politically motivated legal charges
against all opposition activists and independent journalists in
``(3) A <<NOTE: Victor Gonchar. Anatoly Krasovsky. Yuri
Zakharenka. Dmitry Zavadsky.>> 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
``(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 internationally
recognized 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
[[Page 120 STAT. 3670]]
U.S.C. 1182(f)) to deny the entry into the United States of any alien
``(1) holds a position in the senior leadership of the
Government of Belarus;
``(2) is an immediate family member of a person inadmissible
under subparagraph (A); or
``(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.
``(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
``(e) Multilateral Financial Assistance.--The Secretary of the
Treasury should instruct the United States Executive Director of each
international financial institution to 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
``(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.
[[Page 120 STAT. 3671]]
``(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
``(i) by a United States person; or
``(ii) involving the use of any air carrier
(as defined in section 40102 of title 49, United
States Code) 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
``(6) Penalties.--Any person who violates any prohibition or
restriction imposed under this subsection should be subject to
the penalties under section 6 of the International Emergency
Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as for a
violation under that Act.
``(7) Definitions.--In this subsection:
``(A) Air carrier.--The term `air carrier' has the
meaning given that term in section 40102 of title 49,
United States Code.
``(B) United states person.--The term `United States
``(i) any United States citizen or alien
admitted for permanent residence to the United
``(ii) any entity organized under the laws of
the United States; and
``(iii) any person in the United States.''.
[[Page 120 STAT. 3672]]
SEC. 7. MULTILATERAL COOPERATION.
Section 7 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811 note)
(as redesignated) is amended--
(1) by striking ``to coordinate with'' and inserting ``the
support of''; and
(2) by striking ``a comprehensive'' and inserting ``for a
SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS.
Section 9(3) of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (22 U.S.C. 5811
note) is amended--
(1) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``governors, heads of
state enterprises,'' after ``Chairmen of State Committees,'';
(2) in subparagraph (B)--
(A) by striking ``who is'' and inserting the
(B) by striking ``and'' at the end and inserting
(C) by adding at the end the following new clause:
``(ii) is otherwise engaged in public
corruption in Belarus; and''.
Approved January 12, 2007.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 5948:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 152 (2006):
Dec. 7, considered in House.
Dec. 8, considered and passed House and Senate.