TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia, the government Friday agreed to transfer the imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili to a military hospital, after a sudden deterioration of his health.
The ex-president’s fifty day long hunger strike has caused a public outrage and a growing pressure from the West.
Saakashvili and his lawyers demanded to transfer him to a private multi-purpose clinic, but the government offered to take him to Gori Military Hospital. Doctors say the detained ex-president is exhausted by being on a hunger strike for fifty days, which poses a threat to his life.
Eka Kherkheulidze, a member of parliament from his party, the National Movement, said after meeting the imprisoned ex-president that he agrees to be transferred from Gldani Prison Hospital to Gori, but has “technical details” to be agreed with lawyers. Saakashvili later in the evening agreed to the government’s offer.
“The only thing that can be a hindrance at this stage is the following: he has one condition, which is why the Ukrainian consul and personal lawyer, Nika Gvaramia, were summoned [to hospital] to go through this technical detail with them, and then Nika Gvaramia will tell you about the [final] decision. He has no objection to Gori Hospital, not because he is happy with this location, it does not matter to him now where he will be transferred. It is important for him how the struggle will continue in this country,” Eka Kherkheulidze said.
The Georgian government’s decision came after a wave of protests not only by the opposition parties but also by a significant portion of civil society and culture. Added to this was growing pressure from outside the country. The United States and the European Union, which had not raised the issue before, have started to openly criticize the Georgian government.