Text: H.R.5948 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 109-480 (01/12/2007)

 
[109th Congress Public Law 480]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ480.109]

[[Page 3665]]

              BELARUS DEMOCRACY REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2006

[[Page 120 STAT. 3666]]

Public Law 109-480
109th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   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 
of 2006''.
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 
        activity.
            ``(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 
        their faith.
            ``(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 
        law;
            ``(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 
        Belarus; and

[[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 
                    BELARUS.

    (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 
        parties;
            ``(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 
broadcasting''.
    (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 
broadcasting''.
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).

    ``(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.
            ``(2) The withdrawal of politically motivated legal charges 
        against all opposition activists and independent journalists in 
        Belarus.
            ``(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 
        elections.
            ``(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 
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 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 
        for Belarus.

    ``(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 
        2006--
                    ``(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 
                services, either--
                          ``(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 
                humanitarian crisis.
            ``(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 
                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.''.

[[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 
        comprehensive''.
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,''; 
        and
            (2) in subparagraph (B)--
                    (A) by striking ``who is'' and inserting the 
                following: ``who--
                          ``(i) is'';
                    (B) by striking ``and'' at the end and inserting 
                ``or''; and
                    (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.

                                  <all>