UNM Members, Saakashvili Supporters Stop Hunger Strike

Members of the United National Movement party and supporters of jailed Mikheil Saakashvili stopped their 12-day-long hunger strike on January 1, following an appeal by the ex-President.

Saakashvili’s lawyer Giorgi Mshvenieradze relayed the appeal to the protesters gathered in tents outside the United National Movement headquarters in Tbilisi, demanding the ex-President’s release.

According to the lawyer, Saakashvili had warned he would again go on a hunger strike if his supporters refused to stop, according to the lawyer.

“We decided to move to the next stage of the fight and use other diverse and non-violent forms of protest,” said Nika Melia, chair of the UNM. It was also Melia who initially announced the “mass hunger strike” on December 21, during a protest rally in Tbilisi. UNM leaders said a day after that about 180 people had begun the severe form of protest.

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