Belarus: Galina Drebezova

The victory over the fear inside oneself is the first step towards freedom and happiness.

— Galina Drebezova

Galina Drebezova (born 1950) has worked as a lawyer for many years. In 1995 she headed the local branch of the Association of Women Lawyers in Brest, and was later to be elected its national chairwoman. She leads a major movement to protect the human rights of Byelorussian citizens. It was Galina who uncovered the rigged results of the referendum on the amendments to the Constitution (1996). Heading the Civil Union of Anti-Bankruptcy Managers (Bazy), she has earned the reputation of an excellent crisis manager. She is a deputy of the parliament.

In Galina Drebezova's office, there is a map garnished with little flags like those depicting actions on a battlefield. They indicate some 500 Byelorussian cities, remote villages and towns which Galina, together with her fellow lawyers, has visited in the past ten years. She travels on her own initiative, in her own car, to provide legal assistance to the citizens of her country, to hold lectures, and to initiate discussions on the most topical problems in present-day Belarus. She helps senior citizens complete all the paperwork necessary to receive their pensions. She provides consultations to simple citizens on state-benefit issues, on employment contracts, and on a wide range of everyday problems. This benevolent work, compensated for only by personal satisfaction, is of extremely vital importance in Belarus where a large portion of the population is poorly informed on the legal procedures to be taken in defending their political and economic rights. Together with the rights of individuals, Galina is also active in the field of crisis management, helping out Byelorussian enterprises and their workers. A very beautiful woman, Galina Drebezova radiates warmth and a magnetic attraction that draws people to her and cheers them up. In return, they give her their support. Galina has been elected to parliament, where she keeps on protecting people's rights, making her contribution to the building of civil society in Belarus, the country which is often called the last dictatorship in Europe.

Grazhdansky soyuz antibankrotnykh menedzherov (Gsam) Byelorusskaya Assotsyatsya zhenshchin-yuristov (Bazy)