Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Congressmen James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) signed a bipartisan letter urging Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to give Special Student Relief eligibility to Belarusian students in the U.S. and extend Temporary Protective Status to Belarusian democracy activists in the U.S.
September 23 marks one year since dictator Lukashenka refused to step down after losing the August 2020 presidential election in Belarus and instead held a secret “inauguration” in the presence of a few dozen confidants. This stealthy attempt to formalize his illegal and undemocratic power grab only exposed and solidified his illegitimacy and provoked an unprecedented pushback from the democratic forces in Belarus and the international community. Over the past year, Lukashenka retained a semblance of power and influence in the country only thanks to a terror campaign against civil society perpetrated by his security forces and generous Russian support.
On behalf of the Belarusian-American community, the Belarus Freedom Forum would like to thank President Joseph R. Biden for meeting with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. We hope this meeting signifies a new stage in the American re-engagement and a prospect for tighter ties with Eastern Europe, which will help to promote democracy, security, and prosperity in the region. Last week Ukrainians around the world celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of regaining their state independence.
Here are scripts you can use when you call the offices of your elected officials to ask them to join their respective Belarus Caucuses. Call the Washington, DC office. When you call, ask to speak with the foreign policy advisor. If they are unavailable, leave a message with the Receptionist asking the Representative to join the Caucus. If you get voice mail, leave a message. Thank you! Use this link to find your Representative and Senators and their contact information:
August 9, 2021, marks one year since the infamous 2020 presidential election, which became a turning point in Belarusian history. Belarusians around the world commemorate the beginning of the peaceful pro-democracy movement it sparked. One year ago today, millions of brave Belarusians chose to stand up to a dictatorship and defend democracy in the voting booths across the country and elect Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya as the next president of Belarus. Hundreds of thousands then took to the streets to protect their votes, despite the prospect of getting jailed, tortured, or even murdered.
In light of the recent unprecedented crackdown on independent media and civil society in Belarus, the Belarus Freedom Forum urges the U.S. government on behalf of Belarusian American Communities to impose economic sanctions to put an end to political repressions. in Belarus. We are grateful for the U.S. government’s decision to join the European Union in its latest effort to sanction individuals responsible for state repressions as well as state-owned companies funding the regime.
The Honorable Janet Yellen Secretary of the U.S. Treasury U.S. Governor to the IMF Dear Madam Treasury Secretary, It came to our attention that the International Monetary Fund Executive Board is working on a new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocation, and Belarus is neither excluded from the new allocation nor prevented from accessing its future SDR holdings. We hope the United States exercises its veto power and prevents access to SDRs by an illegitimate government the United States does not recognize.
July 16, 2021 The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr. President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: We American friends of democratic Belarus thank you for your support of the Belarusian people in your meetings with U.S. allies, friends, and partners as well as for your administration’s actions to increase sanctions against the Lukashenka regime and his enablers.
The Honorable David Malpass President of the World Bank Group Dear Mr. Malpass, We, the members of Belarus Freedom Forum, would like to bring to your attention our concerns about the ongoing Belarus Higher Education Modernization Project (ID #P167992) and call on the World Bank to halt any lending to the Republic of Belarus and reallocate the funds associated with it. Providing funds to the state-owned higher education system of Belarus is immoral and counterproductive, as the current atmosphere of intimidation and the ongoing political repressions against students and faculty make any improvement and innovation highly unlikely.
The Honorable David Malpass President of the World Bank Group: Dear Mr. Malpass, Belarus Freedom Forum, a US-based organization of Belarusian-Americans and Belarusians living in the United States, is contacting you regarding the Belarus Emergency Covid Response Project by the World Bank (ID #P173828). Under the terms of this project, the Republic of Belarus is to receive a loan of 98.5 million USD. Part of the loan has already been disbursed.