Belarus Democracy Act of 2004
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The Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 is a United States federal law that authorizes assistance for political parties, non-governmental organizations, and independent media working for democracy and human rights in Belarus. The act was signed by President George W. Bush and passed unanimously by the U.S. Congress on October 4, 2004.
The law expresses the sense of Congress that the Belarusian authorities should not receive various types of non-humanitarian financial aid from the U.S. It also calls for the President to report to Congress on arms sales by Belarus to state sponsors of terrorism and on the personal wealth and assets of senior Belarus officials.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says the U.S. is concerned about the Belarusian government's increasingly repressive steps against independent media and pro-democracy groups. He says that Belarusian security forces used excessive force against peaceful protesters following the parliamentary elections and referendum.
The U.S., said President Bush, "will work with our allies and partners to assist those seeking to return Belarus to its rightful place among the Euro-Atlantic community of democracies."
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko considers this act an intervention into the internal affairs of Belarus.
On December 8, 2006, the United States House of Representatives renewed an amended version of the act.
- "Belarus Democracy Act Will Help Cause of Freedom, Bush Says". US State Department. 2004-10-22.