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Send the Belarus Democracy Petition to your Senator and Representative


September 23, 2020

U.S. Congress

We, members of the BELARUSIANS IN CHICAGO, a not-for-profit organization, call on the U.S. Congress to take swift action to address the humanitarian, political, and constitutional crisis in Belarus. The regime of Europe’s last dictator Alexander Lukashenka has lost its legitimacy. However, it continues to cling to power by relying on police brutality, a complicit judicial system, and a propaganda machine while suppressing independent media outlets and denying fundamental human rights to Belarusian citizens.

To ensure freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, and the prevailing law in Belarus, we call on the U.S. Congress to do the following:

Amend H.R.515— Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011, 112th Congress (2011-2012), or draft and pass a new act that includes the following provisions:

  • Demand the unconditional release of all seventy-seven political prisoners and dropping of all fabricated charges against them,

  • Demand an independent investigation into the protest-related deaths of Alyaksandr Taraykouski, Alexander Vikhor, Artsyom Parukou, Gennady Shutov, and Konstantin Shishmakov,

  • Demand an immediate halt on violence, torture, tactics of intimidation of peaceful protestors, including threats of layoffs, and deprivation of parental rights.

  • Impose sanctions against the following:

1. All personnel responsible for ordering and executing crimes against Belarusian people.

2. All law enforcement and security personnel responsible for crimes against Belarusian people. These crimes include suppression of free speech, targeted attacks against independent media, unlawful arrests, beatings, torture, rape, and the use of brutal force against peaceful protesters.

3. Any personnel involved in the falsification and destruction of electoral ballots during the Belarus’ 2020 presidential election, violating the Belarusian people’s constitutional right to a free and fair election.

4. All persons, businesses, and entities providing financial, workforce, and technological support for criminal acts, or financially tied to Lukashenka’s regime.

5. All institutions and organizations assisting the Lukashenka’s regime, by providing services and operations intended to limit or deny freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to the Belarusian people by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.

6. All enterprises or actors involved in impeding access to the Internet either from inside or outside of Belarus after, before, or during the presidential elections.

  • Establish cooperation with the pro-democratic movement and the Coordination Council created by the Belarusian people to initiate mediation between the opposing political sides and ensure a peaceful transition of power.

  • Support funding for programs for humanitarian and financial assistance to Belarusian students and workers who have suffered physical or psychological abuse as the result of the regime's persecution, including job and income loss, kidnapping or life threats, and other acts of intimidation.

  • Support programs and provide financial assistance for civic initiatives, independent media, and non-governmental organizations to develop a peaceful and democratic civil society in Belarus.

BELARUSIANS IN CHICAGO strongly believe that the U.S. government's support will help resolve the humanitarian, political, and constitutional crisis in Belarus and will strengthen the movement for freedom, democracy, respect for human rights in the Republic of Belarus.