Treasury Bars 6 Belarusian Officials For Anti-Democracy Activity

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The Treasury Department barred six Belarusian government officials from the U.S. financial system Tuesday for their role in the "oppressive" regime of Alexander Lukashenka, the Belarusian leader.

"Those who commit human rights abuses and political repression have no place in civil society," said Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.

Several of the individuals named by Treasury were active in a March 2006 crackdown on civil society and democratic opposition in Belarus.

"We will continue to target Belarusian officials who abuse their positions to steal from their people and to suppress democracy and freedom," Szubin said.

The Treasury's action - called a designation - freezes any assets of the six Belarusians under U.S. control and prohibits them from doing business in the U.S.

"The actions and policies of these individuals undermine Belarus' democratic processes and institutions, manifested most recently in the fundamentally undemocratic March 2006 elections," the Treasury said.

Previously, the Treasury took similar action against 10 other Belarusian officials.

Tuesday's action was taken under the authority of an executive order that targets Belarusian officials believed to be responsible for human rights violations and political repression.

-By Benton Ives-Halperin, Dow Jones Newswires;