Galina Drebezova – Belarus

Linked with Byelorusskaya Assotsyatsya zhenshchin-yuristov BAZY.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The victory over the fear inside oneself is the first step towards freedom and happiness”.

Galina Drebezova - Belarus one redim 60p.jpg
Galina Drebezova – Belarus

She works for the Grazhdansky soyuz antibankrotnykh menedzherov GSAM, and for the Byelorusskaya Assotsyatsya zhenshchin-yuristov BAZY (Association of Women-Lawyers of Brest).

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.Galina was born in 1950 in Vitebsk region (Belarus). After graduating from the Belarus State University in Minsk, she worked for many years as a lawyer in this city’s industries.

In 1995 Galina began her private legal practise. She became the head of the regional organization of private lawyers. The next stage of her career was her election as president of Assotsyatsya zhenshchin-yuristov Bresta.

Galina began to lead a huge effort to help youth, women, and disabled persons to defend their rights. Galina’s active stand attracts people to her. She is one of the best bankruptcy managers of the country. Her fellow anti-bankruptcy managers elected her director of Grazhdansky soyuz antibankrotnykh menedzherov (Civil Union of Anti Bankruptcy Managers). Now Galina heads Byelorusskaya Assotsyatsya zhenshchin-yuristov (Byelorussian Association of Women Lawyers).

In Galina’s office there is a map, flourished with little flags like those on a battlefield. They indicate half a thousand of Byelorussian cities, remote villages and towns, which Galina, together with her colleague lawyers, has visited in the past ten years. She went there on her own initiative, at the wheel of her own car.

She gives legal assistance to the citizens of her country, reads lectures, and initiates discussions on the most topical problems in the present-day Belarus. She helps senior citizens to complete all the papers to get pensions, she consults the ordinary people on state benefits issues, on employment contracts and all the rest of the people’s every day problems. This benevolent, non-paid work is of an extremely vital importance in Belarus, where a great proportion of the population are poorly informed on the legal procedures of defending their political and economic rights.

Galina has a radiant, warm, and welcoming kind of beauty which does not keep the people at distance, but attracts them and cheers them up. And they give her their support in return.

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”.

Together with the rights of individuals, Galina is also active in the field of crisis management, helping out Belorussian enterprises and their workers.Galina was the first in Belarus to succeed in saving a collective enterprise from bankruptcy. It was a silicate industrial complex in Brest region. Galina Drebezova succeeded in revitalizing an enterprise in the economy where financial paralysis had already gained entire sectors. 530 workers of the enterprise, who were under the threat of losing their jobs, kept their employment.

However, not all Galina’s activities have been appreciated by the Byelorussian authorities. In the days of the referendum on the amendments to the Constitution (1996), she was put in jail for disagreeing with the rigged results of the vote. There, in the prison cell, she decided to help everyone who was in difficulty and who could not defend themselves in the face of persecution. She decided to go to people and tell them that they had the right to truth and that they had to find courage to defend their rights. She strongly believes that their strength is in consolidated, united efforts.(Read all on 1000peacewomen).

Galina Drebezova (lawyer in Brest): President of the Belarusian Association of Women Lawyers. Last year a lawsuit was filed against her by the Prosecutors in Brest charging her with collecting too high a fee for her legal services in one case. The client in that case did not object to the fees charged, and in fact, objected to the legal proceedings against Ms. Drebezova. Finally, Ms. Drebezova was dismissed from the case. (Read a long description of the after independence time on International Commission of Jurists).

The President of the Belarusian Association of Women Lawyers, Galina Drebezova, who is based in the western city of Brest, informed Amnesty International that her organization had come under particular scrutiny around 1998. At the time the human rights organization was reportedly receiving a number of foreign grants for the purposes of human rights promotion. She informed Amnesty International that, although her organization was subjected to a tax audit lasting around five months, the tax authorities found an inconsistency equivalent to only $4. However, in the interim she and her organization were forced to expend considerable energy and time producing and explaining the relevant documents and figures. In addition to her human rights defence and promotion work, Galina Drebezova also undertakes some commercial legal activity in order to earn a decent living salary. She stated that at the time of the tax audit of her human rights organization the tax authorities began to show an interest in her clients. The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy, has also commented on the close financial scrutiny which Galina Drebezova came under in the period 1998 – 1999. (Read all the very long story on Amnesty International).

… Among the demonstrators were Natalya Galanina, a member of the Brest City Soviet (elected council); Inna Kulei, head of the Center for Support of Civil Initiatives “Vezha”; lawyer Galina Drebezova; actress Dina Doiban; and others. Two participants were reportedly detained by police after the demonstration. According to representatives of the Zubr youth movement, prior to the protest, they had delivered “summons” to Mikhail Kolotukhin, chief of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Brest Regional Executive Committee, the chief of the police department of the Brest district, and the chiefs of two district police departments in Brest to appear near the Belarus Hotel at 1 p.m. on August 17. “We would like to find out what the police of our region are doing to find the disappeared,” the Zubr activists explained. (Read all on Brest online).


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