The Polish Foreign Ministry and lawmakers have raised concerns over the reports of declining health of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is on hunger strike since his arrest on October 1.
The Foreign Ministry of Poland said yesterday they discussed ex-President Saakashvili’s deteriorating health with Georgian Chargé d’Affaires in Warsaw. “Transparency, adherence to the rule of law and refraining from political action are important for achieving the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Tbilisi,” the Polish MFA tweeted.
Also on October 14, Małgorzata Gosiewska, Deputy Speaker of Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish legislature said she called a meeting of Polish lawmakers over the declining health of Saakashvili.
The Deputy Speaker noted that the MPs have urged the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, and EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, to take action and “persuade the Georgian authorities to release [Saakashvili] immediately.”
Saakashvili, now a Ukrainian citizen, left the country in November 2013 amidst the end of his second presidential term. He was wanted by the Georgian Dream government on multiple charges for some eight years.
The former President was sentenced in absentia in 2018 on two separate abuse of power charges – three years for pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials, convicted in the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani, and six years for organizing an attack on opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili.
Since October 1, Georgian authorities are leading a new investigation over Saakashvili’s illegal border crossing. In this regard, new charges may be brought against him under Article 344 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, punishable by three to five years of prison.
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