Mikheil Saakashvili promises to end hunger strike upon arrival to Gori military hospital
Saakashvili promised to end hunger strike
On the 50th day of hunger strike, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili promised to end it and agreed to the Ministry of Justice proposal to be transferred to the Gori military hospital, Saakashvili’s lawyer Nika Gvamaria announced.
Gvaramia said that ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili will be transferred to Gori today although he did not specify when out of security concerns. He said that the ex-president will end the hunger strike as soon as he is taken to Gori hospital.
Nika Gvaramia has visited Mikheil Saakashvili at the 18th Gldani Medical Facility to clarify the details.
“The hospital is unknown to us, despite the fact that it was built by Saakashvili. We know it is equipped with high technology. Of course, we think that there are highly qualified people there, however, it is important for us to know everything for certain”, Nika Gvaramia said after leaving the Gldani prison hospital.
Saakashvili’s lawyer asked those gathered outside the Gldani prison to leave the area for security reasons:
“I want to ask everyone except the media to leave the area and not to create obstacles by standing here. He simply won’t leave the facility if there are a lot of people there, it does not apply to the media, obviously”, Gvaramia said.
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Nika Gvaramia also read another letter from the imprisoned ex-president to the media.
In the letter, Saakashvili writes that he is grateful to everyone who went on a hunger strike, rallied, petitioned or otherwise fought in solidarity with him. He also apologizes to the community and family for the stress caused by groups of doctors, both in Georgia and abroad.
Saakashvili says he has agreed to move to a hospital he built, but has no plans to tolerate his illegal detention:
“I am ready to appear before a specially created but fair court and defend my and our historical truth – especially in front of people who felt oppressed, or who suffered real damage during my presidency.
“But all this must be done in strict compliance with national dignity and legal norms, and I will obey any verdict of such a court”, Mikheil Saakashvili wrote in the letter.
Mikheil Saakashvili reiterates that he considers himself an illegal prisoner and addresses the public saying that “now is not the time to give up”:
“Now is the time for consolidation. Do not be afraid of the winter or the threat of the regime, do not assume that we have achieved anything important, the main thing is the liberation of our homeland. After all, don’t we deserve what we are asking for?”
Mikheil Saakashvili was offered to be transferred to Gori Military Hospital by the Ministry of Justice today, November 19. One day before the offer, Mikheil Saakashvili, who was in the Gldani Prison Hospital, lost consciousness during the meeting with his lawyer.
After the decision of the Ministry, the Minister of Health of Georgia Ekaterine Tikaradze arrived at the Gori Military Hospital.
The Minister said that prisoner Saakashvili, like all the hunger strikers, was given maximum attention. However, despite this, the health of many MPs has recently deteriorated. The Minister called this form of protest of the deputies a “famine epidemic”:
“He [Saakashvili] promised that he would end the hunger strike and therefore the hunger strike epidemic we had witnessed would also end in the country”, the minister said.
“I welcome the plan to transfer the former president to the Gori Military Hospital, as it is a place that meets all standards, both medical and security ones”, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said in a statement.
After the decision of the Ministry of Justice, the leader of Droa party, the Georgian opposition Elene Khoshtaria, ended the hunger strike which she has been on for 17 days.
The MP was taken to the Neo-Hospital clinic for examinations. The clinic doctor said that, depending on test results, Khoshtaria may need several days or weeks to rehabilitate.
After the announcement of Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision, the hunger strike was stopped by the opposition MPs in the National Movement (9 MPs) and in Zugdidi by the newly elected members of the Sakrebulo (4 members).
Badri Japaridze, one of the leaders of the Lelo party, said that the Lelo faction would end the parliamentary boycott.
After the announcement of Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision, the crowded opposition protest rally, which was held on Rustaveli Avenue, broke up.
The leader of the United National Movement, Nika Melia, thanked the protesters for their tireless struggle and said that the struggle will continue:
If there is anyone who overthrows the state, it is the Georgian Dream, so I really bow down, the time will come and I will talk about concrete facts about what we have been through. Each of us walked on very thin ice.
The main adventure awaits us – until Mikheil Saakashvili is released from this illegal detention, we will not stop fighting, until the captured state has the Georgian Dream, we will not stop fighting. We are not alone, our European and American partners are by our side”, Nika Melia said.
Georgia’s third president, Mikheil Saakashvili, who was wanted by the government, has returned to Georgia secretly. On October 1, he was arrested and transferred to Gldani Prison.
Immediately after his arrest, the former president went on a hunger strike in protest. Saakashvili considers himself a political prisoner, more specifically, a prisoner of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Georgia’s informal ruler Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The former president was on a 50-day hunger strike. For the past two weeks he has not been taking medication. His condition was deteriorating day by day. A team of doctors set up by the Public Defender assessed his condition critical.
Georgia’s civil society, diplomats, ordinary citizens, actors, writers and other public figures have called on the government to take the ex-president to a multi-profile clinic. The Public Defender of Georgia, the Office of the State Inspector, addressed this request to the government. The statement was released yesterday by the US State Department.
In addition, on November 10, the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights called on Mikheil Saakashvili to end his hunger strike and instructed the state to ensure the safety of the prisoner as well as his adequate treatment.
Despite all this, members of the government insisted that Mikheil Saakashvili’s hunger was “fake” and categorically refused to transfer him to a civilian, multi-profile clinic.