US State Department calls on Georgian government to treat Saakashvili 'fairly and with dignity'
US State Department urges Georgian government to treat Saakashvili ‘fairly’
Press Secretary of the US State Department Ned Price made a statement in which he called on the Georgian government to adhere to the recommendations of the Ombudsman and treat Saakashvili ‘fairly and with dignity’.
“We are closely following the treatment of former President Mikheil Saakashvili since his arrest on October 1. We commend the oversight work of the Georgian Public Defender in establishing an independent medical team to evaluate Mr. Saakashvili’s health and to review the state of medical facilities at the prison hospital.
We urge the Government of Georgia to treat Mr. Saakashvili fairly and with dignity, as well as to heed the Public Defender’s recommendations about appropriate treatment.
We also call on the Georgian government to ensure that Saakashvili is present at all pending criminal hearings. “According to international law, Saakashvili has the right to a fair trial, which includes the opportunity to attend court hearings if he so requests,” the statement said.
We also strongly urge the Government of Georgia to ensure Mr. Saakashvili is able to attend all court hearings for his pending criminal cases, in line with international law. Mr. Saakashvili has a right to a fair trial, which includes the opportunity to attend court hearings in person should he request to do so”.
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On November 18, ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili fainted and collapsed during a meeting with lawyers and was taken to the intensive care unit. Later, the president was visited by a group of doctors organised by the Public Defender of Georgia and deputies – Dimitri Khundadze, David Sergeenko and Mikhail Sardzhveladze.
Doctors say Saakashvili, who has been on hunger strike for 50 days, is in critical condition and must be taken to a specialized clinic, while lawmakers say his condition is stable and he will only be sent to a clinic if his condition worsens.
On November 17, the conclusion of a group of specialists / experts created by the Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria was published, based on the results of monitoring the state of health of Mikhail Saakashvili:
Due to the criticality of the patient’s condition, it is recommended to continue his treatment in a functional and experienced prophylactic hospital, specifically in the intensive care unit, the conditions of which the clinic of the 18th institution cannot provide.
On November 16, the Ombudsman set up a multidisciplinary expert group to oversee Mikheil Saakashvili’s medical traearment. On the same day, the Ombudsman and a group of experts visited President Saakashvili.
Also on November 10, the Strasbourg court ruled on “interim measures” in regards to Mikheil Saakashvili’s hunger strike, his health and safety.
The European Court of Human Rights considered the case on a priority basis and adopted “interim measures”. This decision of the Strasbourg Court means that the European Court of Human Rights has realized the danger of causing irreparable damage to Saakashvili’s life and health.