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Public Defender, Physicians Visit Saakashvili

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria and the team of medical experts she assembled visited late on November 16 jailed ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili in Gldani #18 prison hospital, to monitor his condition and medical services provided by the state.

Lomjaria said the team examined Saakashvili, on a hunger strike since his arrest on October 1, inspected the infrastructure of the clinic, and talked to the personnel there. A written conclusion of the findings will be published later, the Public Defender added.

Giorgi Grigolia, an anesthesiologist-resuscitator in the group, said the condition of hunger-striking Saakashvili is not severe yet, “but it is very close to getting worse in a few days.” According to Grigolia, test results showed the ex-President requires intensive therapy and treatment.

The physician said it is not advisable to treat Saakashvili at the facility. He said that a “quite well-equipped” intensive therapy unit was set up at the facility two weeks ago, with licensed staff being transferred from the Republican Hospital. According to Grigolia, an anesthesiologist and a nurse are on duty every day.

However, Grigolia highlighted that the Gldani prison clinic does not have past experience with providing intensive therapy to a patient.

According to the physician, if Saakashvili were to decide to call off a hunger strike, he would need treatment by therapists and multi-profile specialists, including to control his food intake, but the Gldani #18 prison clinic may not have this capacity at the moment.

The former Georgian President has been on hunger strike since his arrest on October 1. Authorities transferred him to the prison hospital on November 8, against his will.

Saakashvili, his family, doctor, lawyers and the opposition are demanding his transfer to a multi-profile civilian clinic, an option the authorities refuse over fears that the ex-President’s supporters would storm the facility.

United National Movement, the party of Saakashvili pledged there would be no protest rally outside or in the vicinity of any civic hospital that the former President would be transferred to. Also, Saakashvili has said he would call off the hunger strike if the government agrees to the transfer.

The Public Defender assembled the team of experts on November 16, as the council of doctors monitoring Saakashvili’s condition in Rustavi #12 prison have not been allowed to visit him at the penitentiary hospital.

Irakli Kobakhidze, ruling Georgian Dream party chair, voiced mistrust in Public Defender Nino Lomjaria. He claimed that almost every member of the team of physicians assembled by the omubdsperson “are extremely politically biased,” arguing this once again confirms that Lomjaria “does not deserve to be trusted.”

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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