November 28, 2021

In Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili stops hunger strike after fifty days

Former Georgian president and opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili on Saturday, November 20 ended a fifty-day hunger strike in detention, after being transferred to a military hospital in Gori, some 90 kilometers away by the road west of the capital, Tbilisi.

“He is still in critical condition and has been placed in an intensive care unit”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) his personal doctor, Nikoloz Kipchidze, specifying that the opponent would start “Eat later in the day on Saturday”.

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Mr. Saakashvili, 53, stopped eating on 1is October to protest against his imprisonment on his return to Tbilisi after years of exile in Ukraine. On Thursday, he had passed out during a meeting with his lawyers.

Change of tone

At first, the Georgian authorities rejected doctors’ recommendations to hospitalize him in a civilian establishment, before changing your tone on Friday and transferring him overnight to a military hospital.

On Friday evening, thousands of supporters of Mr. Saakashvili took to the streets in Tbilisi to demand guarantees of adequate medical assistance for the former leader, currently considered the leader of the opposition.

Justice Minister Rati Bregadze accused the opposition of“Exploiting Saakashvili’s health for ridiculous political ends”.

Doctor Guiorgui Grigolia, who examined Mr. Saakashvili after his discomfort, told AFP on Thursday that the ” life [de ce dernier] was threatened “ and that he had to “Be transferred to a civilian clinic without delay”, citing heart and neurological problems in his patient.

“Illegal imprisonment”

“I will never accept my illegal imprisonment”Saakashvili said on Facebook on Friday evening, adding that he was ready to “Appear in a fair trial and accept any verdict that may be rendered”.

In 2018, Mr. Saakashvili was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for “abuse of power,” charges he said were fabricated and politically motivated.

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“As soon as I am released I will join you as an equal among equals to rebuild our country ”, wrote Mr. Saakashvili. He thanked his compatriots for their “Incredible demonstration of solidarity and humanity” and called for a campaign “To liberate the country” of the domination of the Georgian Dream Party, of the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili. “I believe in our victory like never before”, he assured.

Mr Saakashvili’s arrest exacerbated a political crisis that arose following the 2020 parliamentary elections, narrowly won by Georgian Dream, the ruling party, and which the opposition deemed fraudulent.

Pro-Western president from 2004 to 2013, Mr. Saakashvili returned to Georgia on 1is October after an eight-year exile. Immediately arrested, he was jailed under his conviction for abuse of power.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili caused a scandal by claiming that Mr. Saakashvili “Had the right to commit suicide” and that the government had been forced to stop him because he had refused to give up politics.

The World with AFP