Saakashvili to End Hunger Strike if Treated in Civilian Clinic

Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili has agreed to take up the European Court of Human Rights’ call to end his hunger strike if the authorities agree to transfer him to a civilian clinic for rehabilitation.

Saakashvili said on November 11 that the council of doctors monitoring his health should select a multi-profile and high-tech hospital for him to undergo treatment after the hunger strike. However, he highlighted that the group’s decisions must be obligatory as opposed to their current recommendatory nature.

Besides, he proposed another condition, to staff the council on a parity basis, with half of its members named by the Government and the other half by Saakashvili.

Saakashvili dismissed the possibility of undergoing rehabilitation treatment at the Gldani #18 prison hospital, a facility where he said he is being tortured by the personnel. “Here, there are no guarantees for security and protection from psychological pressure,” he argued, adding this is a demand of the ECHR as well.

He also rejected the possibility of being transferred to the Military Hospital in Gori, due to its proximity with the dividing line with Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. Saakashvili pointed out that “Russian occupying army and special forces are only kilometers away from the hospital.”

Pointing accusatory fingers at Moscow, Saakashvili argued Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his assassination, a plan he claimed the Georgian Government has been carrying out “from the first day” of his hunger strike.

Besides, Saakashvili urged opposition Droa party leader Elene Khoshtaria to call off her respective hunger strike, which she launched on November 3, demanding the ex-President’s transfer to a civilian hospital.

Khoshtaria said also on November 11 that she would only end her hunger strike once her request is met and Saakashvili is transferred to a civilian hospital.

Georgian Dream government denied transferring Saakashvili to a civilian hospital, citing fears over UNM supporters storming a civilian clinic to release the ex-President.

United National Movement on November 10 said it would assume full responsibility that there would be no protest rally outside or in the vicinity of any hospital that the jailed former President would be transferred to.

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