November 29, 2021

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Former Georgian President Saakashvili ends his hunger strike

Former Georgian President Saakashvili ends his hunger strike

– Former President Saakashvili officially ended the hunger strike after he was taken to Gori Military Hospital, 90 km west of the capital Tbilisi, in a life-threatening condition, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit, his doctor Nikoloz Kipsegadze said on Saturday. night.

Saakashvili was president from 2004 to 2013. He was arrested on 1 October when he returned to Georgia from exile in Ukraine. He believes that the prison is politically motivated and so he started a hunger strike in protest.

Saakashvili is the founder of Georgia’s main opposition party. In 2018, he was sentenced in absentia to 6 years in prison for abuse of power while in office. He denied the allegations, saying they were politically motivated.

Saakashvili’s imprisonment led to demonstrations calling for Saakashvili’s release.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili caused an uproar when he said that Saakashvili, having started the hunger strike, “has the right to commit suicide” and that the government had to arrest Saakashvili for refusing to abandon politics.

Transfer

On Thursday, 53-year-old Saakashvili fainted. Doctors urged the authorities to transfer him to a civilian hospital. They argued that his life was in danger.

Authorities initially rejected the medical recommendations, but on Friday Justice Minister Rati Brigadze said she was open to Saakashvili’s transfer to a military hospital, “where his health and safety will be best protected by the state.”

Lawyer Dito Sadzagliishvili confirmed to AFP that the transfer from the prison hospital to the military hospital took place in the early hours of Saturday night.

On Friday night, Saakashvili said he would end the hunger strike as soon as he was transferred.

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Ask the people to fight

“I will never accept my unlawful imprisonment,” he wrote on Facebook. He added that he was ready to undergo a fair trial and accept any verdict that might be issued.

The United States called on the Georgian authorities to treat Saakashvili with fairness and dignity, and to uphold his right to a fair trial.

“As soon as I am released, I will join you, as equals, and rebuild our country,” the former president wrote.

He thanks his supporters for solidarity and support, urges people to “liberate the country” from the regime under the rule of the country’s richest man, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who leads the ruling party.

“I believe in our victory as never before,” Sakasjvili wrote.

(© NTB)