U.S. Ambassador: Government “has a Responsibility” for Protecting Saakashvili’s Rights

While speaking with media at the National Conference on gender equality, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan emphasized in relation to imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili that “the government has a responsibility to ensure that his human rights are respected, that he receives the medical care and psychological care he needs, and that he receives a fair trial.”

She also underscored that “with a court hearing underway, those legal processes should continue in accordance with basic human rights and the protection of privacy as well as the right to a fair trial.”

The Ambassador’s comments come the day after the Special Penitentiary Service released footage of the ex-President in his room at Viva Medi Clinic taken over a period of several months.

Notably, the Personal Data Protection Service stated this morning that they have started to look into the matter. Meanwhile, Saakashvili’s lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze asserted yesterday that the release of the footage constitutes a “criminal offense” since it was done without Saakashvili’s permission.

The Ambassador also made statements in reference to Saakashvili the day before, albeit in relation to the news that the ex-President missed his own hearing because of technical reasons. “The postponement today I think was surprise,” she said, adding that “in the United States, when a judge orders steps to be taken, then everyone does their utmost to ensure that that court order is fulfilled.”

She also pointed out, “there’s a particular urgency because there is a such great concern both domestically and internationally regarding Mr. Saakashvili’s health and welfare… Further delays only increase the questions and concerns regarding his well-being.”

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


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