Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual and four entities for their roles in the fraudulent August 9, 2020, presidential election in Belarus and the subsequent violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests. These designations, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13405, target individuals and entities who are responsible for, or have participated in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Belarus.
“The Belarusian people continually seek to peacefully exercise their basic democratic rights, and the state repeatedly responds with violent crackdowns,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This action, in conjunction with those taken previously by the United States and our international partners, continue to hold accountable the individuals and organizations carrying out these unacceptable actions.”
Treasury Targets Commission Responsible for Undermining Elections in Belarus
The Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus on Elections and Holding Republican Referenda (Belarusian CEC) led by Chairwoman Lidziya Yarmoshina, Deputy Chairperson Vadzim Ipatau, and Secretary Alena Dmukhayla, all three previously sanctioned, managed the fraudulent August 9 presidential election. The election included a myriad of irregularities that made it neither free nor fair, including barring opposition candidates, denying access to poll observers, and certifying inaccurate vote tallies.
The Belarusian CEC is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13405 for being responsible for, or having participated in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Belarus.
Treasury Targets Perpetrators of Violent Crackdown
As Deputy Minister of the Interior and Chief of the Criminal Police, Henadz Arkadzievich Kazakevich (Kazakevich) was responsible for the actions of the Criminal Police in their role of carrying out previously sanctioned Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s policy of violently cracking down on pro-democracy protests in Belarus.
Kazakevich is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13405 for being responsible for, or having participated in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Belarus.
The Minsk Special Purpose Police Unit (Minsk OMON), the Main Internal Affairs Directorate of the Minsk City Executive Committee (Minsk GUVD), and KGB Alpha have been involved in the violent post-election crackdown on and suppression of peaceful protests in Minsk. The Minsk OMON, the riot police whose leader Dzmitriy Balaba was previously designated on October 2, 2020 pursuant to E.O. 13405, has repeatedly used excessive force and brute violence against protesters, detainees, and journalists in Minsk. The Minsk OMON is a subordinate unit of the Minsk GUVD, the Ministry of Interior’s branch in the city of Minsk. KGB Alpha, an elite unit of Belarus’s secret services, has served alongside and supplemented the Minsk OMON in the violent crackdown on protests in the capital city.
The Minsk OMON, the Minsk GUVD, and KGB Alpha are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13405 for being responsible for, or for having participated in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Belarus.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the persons above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
For more information regarding the scope of any sanctions program’s requirements please contact OFAC’s Sanction Compliance and Evaluation Division at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490, or by email at [email protected].