[108th Congress Public Law 347]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ347.108]

[[Page 118 STAT. 1383]]

Public Law 108-347
108th Congress

                                 An Act

To provide for the promotion of democracy, human rights, and rule of law 
 in the Republic of Belarus and for the consolidation and strengthening 
of Belarus sovereignty and independence. <<NOTE: Oct. 20, 2004 -  [H.R. 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: Belarus Democracy Act of 2004. 22 USC 5811 
            note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Belarus Democracy Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS. <<NOTE: 22 USC 5811 note.>> 

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The United States supports the promotion of democracy, 
        respect for human rights, and the rule of law in the Republic of 
        Belarus consistent with its commitments as a participating state 
        of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe 
            (2) The United States has a vital interest in the 
        independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus and its 
        integration into the European community of democracies.
            (3) In November 1996, Lukashenka orchestrated 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, 
        and extend his term of office to 2001.
            (4) Democratic forces in Belarus have organized peaceful 
        demonstrations against the Lukashenka regime in cities and towns 
        throughout Belarus which led to beatings, mass arrests, and 
        extended incarcerations.
            (5) <<NOTE: Victor Gonchar. Anatoly Krasovsky. Yuri 
        Zakharenka. Dmitry Zavadsky.>> Victor Gonchar, Anatoly 
        Krasovsky, and Yuri Zakharenka, who have been leaders and 
        supporters of the democratic forces in Belarus, and Dmitry 
        Zavadsky, a journalist known for his critical reporting in 
        Belarus, have disappeared and are presumed dead.
            (6) Former Belarus Government officials have come forward 
        with credible allegations and evidence that top officials of the 
        Lukashenka regime were involved in the disappearances.
            (7) The Belarusian authorities have mounted a major 
        systematic crackdown on civil society through the closure, 
        harassment, and repression of nongovernmental organizations, and 
        independent trade unions.
            (8) The Belarusian authorities actively suppress freedom of 
        speech and expression, including engaging in systematic 
        reprisals against independent media.

[[Page 118 STAT. 1384]]

            (9) The Lukashenka regime has reversed the revival of 
        Belarusian language and culture, including through the closure 
        of the National Humanities Lyceum, the last remaining high 
        school where classes were taught in the Belarusian language.
            (10) The Lukashenka regime harasses the autocephalic 
        Belarusian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the 
        Jewish community, the Hindu Lights of Kalyasa community, 
        evangelical Protestant churches (such as Baptist and Pentecostal 
        groups), and other minority religious groups.
            (11) The Law on Religious Freedom and Religious 
        Organizations, passed by the National Assembly and signed by 
        Lukashenka on October 31, 2002, establishes one of the most 
        repressive legal regimes in the OSCE region, severely limiting 
        religious freedom and placing excessively burdensome government 
        controls on religious practice.
            (12) The parliamentary elections of October 15, 2000, and 
        the presidential election of September 9, 2001, were determined 
        to be fundamentally unfair and nondemocratic.
            (13) The Government of Belarus has made no substantive 
        progress in addressing criteria established by the OSCE in 2000, 
        ending repression and the climate of fear, permitting a 
        functioning independent media, ensuring transparency of the 
        elections process, and strengthening of the functions of 


    (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 
        regaining their freedom and to enable them to join the European 
        community of democracies.
            (2) To encourage free and fair presidential, parliamentary, 
        and local elections in Belarus, conducted in a manner consistent 
        with internationally accepted standards and under the 
        supervision of internationally recognized observers.
            (3) To assist in restoring and strengthening institutions of 
        democratic governance in Belarus.

    (b) <<NOTE: President.>> 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) the observation of elections and the promotion of free 
        and fair electoral processes;
            (2) development of democratic political parties;
            (3) radio and television broadcasting to and within Belarus;
            (4) the development of nongovernmental organizations 
        promoting democracy and supporting human rights;
            (5) the development of independent media working within 
        Belarus and from locations outside the country and supported by 
        nonstate-controlled printing facilities;
            (6) international exchanges and advanced professional 
        training programs for leaders and members of the democratic

[[Page 118 STAT. 1385]]

        forces in skill areas central to the development of civil 
        society; and
            (7) other activities consistent with the purposes of this 

    (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 2005 and 2006.
            (2) Availability of funds.--Amounts appropriated pursuant to 
        the authorization of appropriations under paragraph (1) are 
        authorized to remain available until expended.


    (a) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this section to authorize 
increased support for United States Government and surrogate radio 
broadcasting to the Republic of Belarus that will facilitate the 
unhindered dissemination of information.
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--In addition to such sums as 
are otherwise authorized to be appropriated, there are authorized to be 
appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2005 and each 
subsequent fiscal year for radio broadcasting to the people of Belarus 
in languages spoken in Belarus.


    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
sanctions described in subsection (c) 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 figures and independent journalists in 
            (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 responsible for their 
            (4) The cessation of all forms of harassment and repression 
        against the independent media, independent trade unions, 
        nongovernmental organizations, religious organizations 
        (including their leadership and members), and the political 
        opposition in Belarus.
            (5) The implementation of free and fair presidential and 
        parliamentary elections in Belarus consistent with OSCE 

    (c)  Prohibition on Loans and Investment.--
            (1) United states government financing.--No loan, credit 
        guarantee, insurance, financing, or other similar financial 
        assistance should be extended by any agency of the United States 
        Government (including the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas 
        Private Investment Corporation) to the Government

[[Page 118 STAT. 1386]]

        of Belarus, except with respect to the provision of humanitarian 
        goods and agricultural or medical products.
            (2) Trade and development agency.--No funds available to the 
        Trade and Development Agency should be available for activities 
        of the Agency in or for Belarus.

    (d) Multilateral Financial Assistance.--It is further the sense of 
Congress that, in addition to the application of the sanctions described 
in subsection (c) 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)), 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.


    It is the sense of Congress that the President should continue to 
seek to coordinate with other countries, particularly European 
countries, 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.

SEC. 7. REPORT. <<NOTE: 22 USC 5811 note.>> 

    (a)  Report.-- Not later than 90 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, 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 of weapons or weapons-related 
        technologies 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 U.S.C. App. 2405(j)(1)), 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 involved in the sale.
            (3) An identification of the goods, services, credits, or 
        other consideration received by Belarus in exchange for the 
        weapons or weapons-related technologies.
            (4) The personal assets and wealth of Aleksandr Lukashenka 
        and other senior leadership of the Government of Belarus.

    (b) Form.--A report transmitted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be 
in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

SEC. 8. DECLARATION OF POLICY. <<NOTE: 22 USC 5811 note.>> 

     Congress hereby--
            (1) calls upon the Lukashenka regime to cease its 
        persecution of political opponents or independent journalists 
        and to release those individuals who have been imprisoned for 
        opposing his regime or for exercising their right to freedom of 

[[Page 118 STAT. 1387]]

            (2) expresses its grave concern about the disappearance of 
        Victor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Yuri Zakharenko, and Dmitry 
        Zavadsky and calls upon the Lukashenka regime to cooperate fully 
        with the Belrussian civil initiative ``We Remember'' and to 
        extend to this organization all necessary information to find 
        out the truth about the disappearances;
            (3) calls upon the Lukashenka regime to cooperate fully with 
        the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and 
        its specially appointed representatives in matters regarding the 
        resolution of the cases of the disappeared; and
            (4) commends the democratic opposition in Belarus for their 
        commitment to participate in October 2004 Parliamentary 
        elections as a unified coalition and for their courage in the 
        face of the repression of the Lukashenka regime in Belarus.

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS. <<NOTE: 22 USC 5811 note.>> 

    In this Act:
            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        ``appropriate congressional committees'' means the Committee on 
        International Relations 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'' 
                    (A) the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime 
                Ministers, government ministers, Chairmen of State 
                Committees, and members of the Presidential 
                Administration of Belarus;
                    (B) any official of the Government of Belarus who is 
                personally and substantially involved in the suppression 
                of freedom in Belarus, including judges and prosecutors; 
                    (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 Lukashenka regime that 
                are in contradiction of internationally recognized human 
                rights standards.

    Approved October 20, 2004.


            Oct. 4, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 6, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 20, Presidential statement.