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U.S. State Department: Treat Saakashvili Fairly, with Dignity

Responding to question during his daily press briefing on November 9, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price urged the Government of Georgia “to immediately take steps to ensure that Mr. Saakashvili’s urgent mental health and medical needs are addressed. We continue to urge the Government of Georgia to treat Mr. Saakashvili fairly and with dignity in accordance with international standards and Georgian law.”

He reminded the Government of Georgia of its “responsibility” to “protect inmates from abuse, including mental abuse; to provide adequate medical care, and to protect their private health information in accordance with Georgian law.”

Spokesperson Price said that he was basing his intervention on the previous statement of the Public Defender of Georgia.

Georgia’s Penitentiary Service transferred hunger striking former President Mikheil Saakashvili to N18 prison hospital against his will on November 8. His whereabouts were unknown to his lawyers and family for at least an hour. Reports about his transfer came around 18:00, while the Penitentiary Service made an official announcement at 18:57 on Facebook. Saakashvili, his doctor and lawyers, and the Public Defender have all opposed his transfer to the prison hospital, citing security risks and inadequate medical equipment, advocating instead for his placement at a civilian clinic – demand that the Georgian Dream authorities continue to reject.

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