The U.S. Senate on Wednesday began its consideration of the extension of the "Act on Democracy in Belarus" — Bill passed by Congress in 2004.
In presenting the document, Senator John Kerry made the following statement:
"More than a hundred days have passed after, as Alexander Lukashenko instsenizavav fraudulent elections and arrested candidates who dared to stand against him and suppressed the Belarusians access to a free press and information. Despite the fact that international media attention shifted to other events, we have not forgotten about the people of Belarus — and do not forget. Many heroic figures still languish in prison, without access to their families and legal counsel.
Prolonging the decision to help the Belarusian society, the United States is that they can to promote the free exchange of ideas and alternative leader of Belarus. The Belarusians have the same right to self-government and freedom of expression, as well as their neighbors. We can not let the last dictatorship in Europe exist without resistance.
"Act on Democracy in Belarus" is intended to promote democratic development, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus, as well as to support the assertion and strengthening the independence of the country. Law provides for the allocation of the necessary assistance to non-governmental organizations, independent media, including radio and television broadcasting to Belarus, and the expansion of international exchanges.
The current bill to extend the activities of the Act ("The Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2011") provides a number of additional measures.
The most significant amendments to the text of 2004, which was extended in 2006 and 2008. Include:
a) the recommendation of the President of the United States to support the broadcast of Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, Radio Europe for Belarus and Belsat;
b) the recommendation of the President to allocate the appropriate amount of money to support democracy in Belarus in 2012-2014.