The Special Penitentiary Service published new footage showing desperate ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili refusing to be transferred to Gldani #18 prison hospital, and demanding to be taken back to the Rustavi #12 prison.
The video is filmed inside the ambulance car, during Saakashvili’s transfer to the prison hospital without his consent on November 8. The 2 minute and 32 seconds long video includes multiple jump-cuts.
In the clip, hunger-striking Saakashvili can be seen refusing to exit the vehicle, asking to be taken back to Rustavi jailed immediately.
The ex-President can be heard calling penitentiary employees gathered outside the vehicle “killers,” “executioners” and “servants of the dictator.” Angry Saakashvili also accuses the men of “carrying out the orders” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The former Georgian President can also be heard rejecting the penitentiary employees’ calls to calm down, reiterating refusal to take any steps out of the vehicle and receive treatment.
The video comes as the Penitentiary Service published earlier in the day footage of Saakashvili being dragged into the Gldani prison clinic, triggering widespread criticism from civil society, opposition politicians as well as the State Inspector’s Service, a body authorized to monitor personal data and probe abuse of power.
Saakashvili argued in his first letter after the transfer that he had been deceitfully taken to the prison hospital instead of a civilian one and was abused during the process. He said, besides being dragged, he was hit several times in the neck and pulled by the hair by penitentiary workers.
According to Saakashvili, one of the prison workers addressed him upon arrival: “Look, birdie, now you are in our hands.” His defense lawyer, Nika Gvaramia highlighted that the reported remark was not included in the published footage, pointing out both videos aired today include jump-cuts.
Explaining the reasoning for the release of the Penitentiary Service’s first video, Justice Minister Rati Bregadze argued the authorities aimed to inform the public by disclosing videos depicting Saakashvili’s transfer to the Gldani penitentiary clinic.
The development comes as the European Court of Human Rights decided on November 10 on an interim measure to urge Saakashvili to call off his hunger strike, and call on the Georgian Government to inform it on the ex-President’s health, treatment and to ensure his safety.
- Penitentiary Footage Shows Saakashvili Dragged into Prison Hospital
- ECHR Decides on Interim Measure Over Saakashvili
- Amnesty Int’l, HRW Decry Saakashvili’s Treatment
- Inmates Heard Shouting Swearwords, Insults at Saakashvili
- Saakashvili Transferred to Prison Hospital