CSOs Call for Saakashvili’s Transfer to Civilian Hospital

Government Risks Civil Unrest, CSOs Say

Eight Georgian civil society outfits issued a joint statement yesterday, calling the authorities to immediately transfer former President Mikheil Saakashvili “to an alternative medical facility.” 

“It is vital that the third President of Georgia would be immediately transferred to an alternative medical institution, where his dignity, life, health, and safety could be adequately ensured,” CSOs noted.

The statement asserted that public statements by the Georgian Dream government officials “clearly indicate” that the decision to transfer the former President to a prison hospital instead of the civilian one “was taken with their involvement and according to their desire.”

Noting that “the full responsibility for the current events rests with the government,” CSOs noted that the decisions taken regarding the treatment of Saakashvili have neither been aimed at defusing the severe political crisis in the country nor have they been conditioned by the best health and safety interests of the prisoner.

“Unjustified steps taken by the government could plunge the country into civil unrest,” said the CSOs, and called the government “to take all the steps necessary to de-escalate the situation.” 

Signatory organizations include the Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI), Transparency International – Georgia, Open Society Foundation, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Rights Georgia, Partnership for Human Rights, and the Shame Movement.  

Saakashvili was transferred to No.18 prison hospital in Gldani, in Tbilisi outskirts, allegedly against his own will. The Public Defender’s said the prison hospital environment fails to respect jailed ex-President’s dignity. 

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