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Monday, November 29, 2021

Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili’s doctor: today he could not get out of bed. The oppositionists started a hunger strike

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Today is the first day that Mikheil Saakashvili did not get out of bed, the doctor of the former Georgian president, Nikoloz Kipshiiga, told reporters. On Sunday, nine members of the Georgian opposition began a hunger strike, demanding that he be transferred to a civilian hospital.

Nikoloz Kipszydze said on Sunday that Saakashvili’s health “is continuing to deteriorate and is very weakened.”

– I visited him in his cell because he couldn’t go downstairs. This is the first time a former president has been unable to get out of bed. He practically did not get up all day, said the doctor. Saakashvili also had difficulty speaking, he reported.


Appeal for release

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On November 8, Saakashvili stayed transported from Rustavi Prison to Tbilisi Prison Hospital. Supporters of the former leader have repeatedly called for his transfer to a civilian hospital, arguing that he is not safe in the prison facility. Demonstrations were organized in the streets of Tbilisi, and on Wednesday, the police detained several dozen opposition activists protesting at the building of the State Security Service and the Ministry of Health.

On Sunday, nine Georgian opposition MPs began a hunger strike demanding Saakashvili’s transfer from prison to a civil hospital.

– At the moment it is our only requirement. We are ready to bring about our hunger strike. I am deeply convinced that after our statement, many MPs and our friends in Georgia and abroad will join us, and that the hunger strike will take a larger scale, said David Kirkitadze, a member of the Saakashvili National Movement.

The Georgian website of Apsna recalled that the authorities did not intend to change their opinion regarding the treatment of the former president, sentenced (in absentia) to six years’ imprisonment for alleged abuses of power while in office.

Saakashvili’s supporters protest in Tbilisi Reuters

Return to the country and arrest

Saakashvili returned to Georgia from Ukraine, where he has lived in recent years and of which he is a national, in early October. The goal of the politician was to mobilize supporters to participate in local elections. On the day of Saakashvili’s return, he was arrested and imprisoned. Authorities say he cannot count on either pardon or extradition to Ukraine.

Kiev demands that Saakashvili be handed over to Ukraine, and the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada are collecting signatures on an appeal to the Georgian authorities asking for Ukrainian doctors to be admitted to the former president.

Saakashvili was on a hunger strike after being detained and arrested. After a few weeks, he declared that he was ready to interrupt her, on condition, however, that he would be transferred to a civilian hospital. In a letter presented to journalists by Saakashvili’s lawyer, the former president said that he “took into account the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, which called on him to end his hunger strike.”

Main photo source: ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE / PAP / EPA

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