Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was transferred to a prison hospital in Tbilisi on Monday. In a letter cited by Georgian media, the former leader said he was refusing treatment. The politician claims that force was used against him. Meanwhile, Georgia’s prison service has released a video of a prison surveillance showing Saakashvili being transferred to a prison hospital.
Mikheil Saakashvili wrote in a letter from a prison in Tbilisi (Gldani district) that he was transferred to the prison hospital by a “trick” from Rustawi, where he was detained on October 1. “They tricked me here, saying that they were taking me to an ordinary city hospital, and canceled my appointment with doctors and a visit with my mother and my children,” he wrote in a letter quoted by the Echo Kawkaza portal.
“They brought me to the building where the criminals are staying, they started screaming and these screams do not stop until now (…)” – he added. “Regardless of my objection, I was pulled out of the car, with the cries of criminals they dragged me across the ground and hit my neck several times. They pulled my hair. And at this point, of course, I resisted (…)” – reported the former president in a letter read by his lawyer in the media. Saakashvili noted that he refused any medical interference and only consented to an appointment with a personal doctor.
According to him, his transfer to the prison hospital in Gldani is aimed at “physically destroying him on Putin’s orders”. Meanwhile, the Georgian prison service released a video from surveillance cameras in the prison showing Saakashvili being transferred to a prison hospital in Tbilisi.
Georgian authorities: Saakashvili insulted prison staff
The representative of the human rights spokesman for Georgia informed that Saakashvili refused treatment and continued the hunger strike, writes Echo Kawkaza. He indicated that the former president was alone in a room isolated from other prisoners. He added that the politician had been pulled from the car and put in a room “by force”.
Justice Minister Rati Bregadze said that Saakashvili had “physically and verbally insulted” prison hospital workers, Interfax-Ukraine reported on Monday. He assured that his ministry wanted the health of the former president to be in good condition.
Arrest of Saakashvili
On October 1, Saakashvili returned to Georgia to – as he said – mobilize his supporters to participate in local elections. On the same day, he was arrested and imprisoned, and the authorities announced that he could not count on pardon or extradition to Ukraine.
The politician returned to Georgia despite the final and binding prison sentences. In the years 2004-2007 and 2008-2013 the president of Georgia was convicted of abuse of power while in office. He himself believes that the criminal cases against him, initiated after opponents from the Georgian Dream party came to power, are politically motivated.
Following his arrest, Saakashvili began a hunger strike at Rustavi prison. He considers himself a political prisoner. On Monday, he was transferred to the prison hospital in Gldani.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry, of which Saakashvili is now a citizen, said on Monday that it was disappointed with the transfer of the former Georgian president to a prison hospital in Tbilisi without informing the Ukrainian side about it. It added that it created additional risk and tension, and called for him to be transferred to a civilian hospital.
Main photo source: Reuters