Text: H.R.515 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 112-82 (01/03/2012)

 
[112th Congress Public Law 82]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 125 STAT. 1863]]

Public Law 112-82
112th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   To reauthorize the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004. <<NOTE: Jan. 3, 
                          2012 -  [H.R. 515]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Belarus 
Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 22 USC 5801 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Belarus Democracy and Human Rights 
Act of 2011''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS; STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    Sections 2 and 3 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (Public Law 
109-480; 22 U.S.C. 5811 note) is amended to read as follows:
``SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    ``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

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        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

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        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.
``SEC. 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;

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            ``(7) continue to call for the fulfillment by the Belarusian 
        government of Belarus's freely undertaken obligations as an OSCE 
        participating state;
            ``(8) <<NOTE: Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Yuri 
        Zakharenka, and Dmitry Zavadsky.>> 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.''.
SEC. 3. RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTING TO BELARUS.

    Section 5 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (Public Law 109-480; 
22 U.S.C. 5811 note) is amended to read as follows:
``SEC. 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.''.
SEC. 4. SANCTIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF BELARUS.

    Section 6 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (Public Law 109-480; 
22 U.S.C. 5811 note) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``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'' before the period at the end;
                    (B) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``, including 
                politically motivated legal charges made in connection 
                with repression that attended the presidential election 
                of December 19, 2010'' before the period at the end;
                    (C) in paragraph (5), by inserting ``and violations 
                of human rights, including violations of human rights 
                committed in connection with the presidential election 
                of December 19, 2010'' before the period at the end; and
                    (D) in paragraph (7), by striking ``internationally 
                recognized observers'' and inserting ``OSCE observers'';
            (2) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) by striking ``subparagraph (A)'' and 
                      inserting ``paragraph (1)''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``or'' at the end;

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                    (B) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting a semicolon; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following new 
                paragraphs:
            ``(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.'';
            (3) in subsection (e), by striking ``of each international 
        financial institution to which'' and inserting ``at each 
        international financial institution of which''; and
            (4) in subsection (f)(2)(B)(ii), by striking ``(as defined 
        in section 40102 of title 49, United States Code)''.
SEC. 5. REPORT.

    Section 8(a) of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (Public Law 109-
480; 22 U.S.C. 5811 note) is amended--
            (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
        ``this Act'' and inserting ``the Belarus Democracy and Human 
        Rights Act of 2011'';
            (2) in paragraph (1), by striking ``sale or delivery of 
        weapons or weapons-related technologies'' and inserting ``sale 
        or delivery or provision of weapons or weapons-related 
        technologies or weapons-related training'';
            (3) in paragraph (2), by striking ``involved in the sale'' 
        and inserting ``or weapons-related training involved in the sale 
        or delivery or provision'';
            (4) in paragraph (3), by inserting ``or weapons-related 
        training described in paragraph (1)'' before the period at the 
        end; and
            (5) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(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.''.
SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 9 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (Public Law 109-480; 
22 U.S.C. 5811 note) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``Committee on 
        International Relations'' and inserting ``Committee on Foreign 
        Affairs''; and
            (2) in paragraph (3)--
                    (A) in subparagraph (B)(i), by striking ``and 
                prosecutors'' and inserting ``, prosecutors, and heads 
                of professional associations and educational 
                institutions''; and
                    (B) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``Lukashenka 
                regime'' and inserting ``Government of Belarus''.

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SEC. 7. FUNDING FOR REPORT.

     The requirement to prepare and transmit the report required under 
section 8 of the Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 (Public Law 109-480; 22 
U.S.C. 5811 note), as amended by section 5 of this Act, shall be 
performed within current levels of authorized and appropriated funding.

    Approved January 3, 2012.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 515:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 157 (2011):
            July 6, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 14, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            Dec. 19, 20, House considered and concurred in Senate 
                amendments.

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