Saakashvili's health condition declines - what doctors and ombudsman say
The health condition of the third president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, who has been imprisoned since October 1 and has gone on a hunger strike, has worsened. According to his lawyer Dmitry Sadzaglishvili, one of the most important indicators in Saakashvili’s test fell, and there was a need for the help of a resuscitator. The lawyer also notes that amid the hunger strike, the ex-president’s health could deteriorate even more at any moment.
Former President Mikheil Saakashvili has been on hunger strike for 25 days. A group of doctors visited the prison a few days ago and recommended preventive hospitalization in a multifunctional medical facility, but the Georgian Justice Minister says that if the third president’s health deteriorates, he will be transferred to the prison hospital.
According to Justice Minister Rati Bregadze, the prison clinic meets the criteria of a multidisciplinary hospital and can support the health of a starving prisoner.
Cardiologist Zurab Pagava left the council of doctors created to monitor the condition of Mikhail Saakashvili. The doctor said that the reason for leaving the council was the deterioration of his health.
What the Public Defender of Georgia says
Yesterday, the special representative of the Public Defender checked the conditions of the prison hospital where the third president is expected to be transferred.
The statement of the Ombudsman of Georgia Nino Lomjaria notes that the conditions of the prison hospital does not fully comply with the conclusions and recommendations of the council of doctors, and that there are some risks to Saakashvili’s safety.
According to the conclusions of Nino Lomjaria, after interviewing the administration and medical personnel of facility No. 18, as well as examining the infrastructure and medical equipment, it was established that the facility has the necessary resources to meet the medical needs of prisoners (including the ones on a hunger strike).
However, the report of the multifunctional group of doctors on the medical needs of Mikheil Saakashvili explicitly stipulates certain medical procedures, which, unfortunately, are not possible in facility 18. For example, it is impossible to perform magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and duplex scanning there. The institution currently does not have a resuscitator, but, according to the administration, appropriate specialists are expected to appear there in the near future.
The statement also says that the Public Defender’s office has checked the ward in which it is planned to place Mikhail Saakashvili. According to the Ombudsman, this institution contains a category of prisoners who have certain conflicts of interest with other prisoners (former police officers, military officers, officials). Consequently, mixing them with other prisoners is a security threat that the prison must avoid, otherwise the prisoner’s rights will be violated.
“Infrastructure and environment do not exclude the risk of verbal aggression, verbal abuse or psychological pressure from certain groups of prisoners. It will also be problematic for visitors to visit Mikheil Saakashvili, as any visitor, including lawyers, must pass through the courtyard of isolation cell N8 next to the premises of other prisoners, which increases the risk of verbal confrontation or insults”, the statement said.
According to the Ombudsman, they believe that the Ministry of Justice should select an alternative medical facility that can provide full and adequate medical services and ensure Saakashvili’s security.
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Saakashvili was arrested on October 1 in Tbilisi after secretly returning to his homeland.
Several criminal cases have been launched against the third president of Georgia, he has already been convicted in one of them and sentenced to six years in prison. The ex-president, with the status of a wanted person, was transferred to prison 12 of Rustavi immediately after his arrest. On the same evening, he went on a hunger strike.