'Dangerous and absurd’: reaction to Georgian PM’s statement on Saakashvili’s ‘right to suicide’
Saakashvili’s right to suicide?
Lawyers and human rights activists responded to Georgian prime minister’s statement claiming that ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who went on a hunger strike in prison, “legally has the right to commit suicide”, saying that the comment is “absurd and deceitful”.
“A person legally has the right to harms his own health, and not that of another person. But, of course, the state cannot take responsibility for this”, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on October 29 on the air of Imedi TV, answering a journalist’s question about how Mikheil Saakashvili’s hunger strike could end.
The prime minister said that “the authorities are doing everything possible [for Saakashvili]”. He added that an additional group of doctors has been mobilised, “despite the fact that he, as a prisoner, is already being provided with impeccable medical care”.
“We have ensured his comfort so that there are would be no questions to us”, the prime minister said.
These words of the Prime Minister caused an outrage among lawyers and human rights defenders.
“This is a lie, as if somewhere in the law it is stated that a person has the right to commit suicide. This is not stated and cannot be stated anywhere because the right to life does not presuppose the right to suicide. This is not only a standard of domestic law in Georgia, it is also an international standard guaranteed by human rights legislation”, Nika Simonishvili, chairman of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, told JAMnews.
Quite the opposite is true – the state is obliged to protect the right to life of any person – and this is especially true for prisoners
“The state is obliged to provide a safe environment for life and health for those who are under its control, primarily prisoners. These are their basic rights”, Nika Simonishvili said.
Eduard Marikashvili, chairman of the Georgian Democratic Initiative, told JAMnews that the Prime Minister’s statement was actually sending a very dangerous message.
“Whatever decision a person makes regarding his life, if the state has leverage and the ability to intervene in this decision, it is obliged to do so.
“This statement is very serious. It can be a classic example of how a government official can encourage suicide in the country”, said Eduard Marikashvili.
Ana Natsvlishvili, a lawyer and member of the opposition Lelo party, told Pirveli TV that the Prime Minister’s words “have nothing to do with law and justice. This is a real revenge on a political opponent”.
- Saakashvili’s hunger strike almost hit a month – what do we know about his health and what future awaits him?
- Мнение: зачем приехал Саакашвили и будет ли Майдан в Грузии
November 1 will mark exactly one month since the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, went on a hunger strike at the 12th Rustavi Correctional Facility. It is known that during this month Saakashvili only took in 50 ml of honey during the first week of the hunger strike.
Doctors who monitor his health say that at any moment the ex-president’s condition could deteriorate sharply.
Today, on October 29, it became known that Mikheil Saakashvili is terminating cooperation with the Medical Council and is no longer going to participate in the treatment amid his hunger strike. His letter about this was shared by his lawyer, Giorgi Gelkhauri.
“As you know, I used to cooperate with the government-appointed medical council for the sole purpose of maintaining my ability to work and think before the elections, but today I am ending this cooperation. I am grateful to the members of the council, however, unfortunately, the government did not take into account their main recommendation. After today, I will no longer receive any treatment, and I will no longer undergo tests”, Saakashvili wrote.
The authorities continue to refuse to transfer the ex-president to any medical facility other than the prison hospital. However, in the prison hospital, according to the Public Defender, there is neither the equipment necessary for his treatment, nor safe conditions for the former president, who has many enemies among the members of the criminal world.
Saakashvili also does not agree to be transferred to a prison hospital.
Mikhail Saakashvili was detained on October 1, 2021. Immediately after his arrest, he went on a hunger strike. He disagrees with his conviction and considers himself a political prisoner.
Key phrase: right to commit suicide
Meta title: PM of Georgia: Saakashvili has the right to commit suicide