TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s health condition deteriorated critically Monday, after 25 days of hunger strike.

His condition was so serious that he required emergency treatment by doctors. After a while his condition improved, said the former president’s defense lawyer Dimitri Sadzaglishvili.

“Saakashvili is now entering such a phase of starvation that his health is expected to deteriorate at any time, and medical services will be on call,” the lawyer said.

He added that the Ministry of Justice was not fulfilling the recommendation issued by the Council of Physicians that the ex-president should be treated in a multidisciplinary hospital.

Saakashvili’s lawyers and associates say the government is deliberately refusing to take him to a civilian hospital, which threatens the ex-president’s life; a clear sign, as they see it, that the government is taking revenge on Saakashvili for political reasons.

The government says the patient was offered to be taken to a penitentiary hospital in a different prison, where all the necessary conditions for treatment are available, which he himself refused.

“I assure you that the Penitentiary Service takes care of the health of all prisoners. Calm down, we will take good care of prisoner Saakashvili,” said Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili in a comment to the media.

Mikheil Saakashvili, who was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1, considers himself a political prisoner and has been on a hunger strike for 25 days demanding to be released.