Ombudswoman: ‘no violations observed’ in ex-president Saakashvili’s conditions in prison

  • Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria says that ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili is receiving proper attention in prison. Photo:, 13 Oct 2021 - 11:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria says that the country’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili is receiving ‘proper attention’ in Rustavi Prison No.12 and that ‘no violations of his rights’ have been reported so far by her representatives in terms of Saakashvili’s living conditions. 

Lomjaria says that her office has been monitoring Saakashvili’s conditions in prison since the day of his detention in Tbilisi on October 1. 

We are actively communicating with the prison administration, as well as medical personnel, regarding Saakashvili’s health condition (who has been on hunger strike since his detention),” Lomjaria said. 

Lomjaria also commented on the recent release of details of Saakashvili’s health by the Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia (blood pressure, pulse, saturation, glucose), and stated that ‘despite high interest in the issue,’ the agency should refrain from disclosing such information. 

The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party and Saakashvili’s lawyer stated last week that the ex-president’s health had worsened due to a hunger strike which has been dismissed by the Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia and the country's top officials. 

PM Garibashvili: Saakashvili ‘staging a show’ with hunger strike, eating half a kilo honey

Saakashviili returned to Georgia after eight years in political exile to support his UNM party in the October 2 municipal elections and replace the current Georgian Dream government, as he says, via snap parliamentary elections. 

Now he calls on the opposition supporters to actively participate in the municipal election runoffs on  October 30, help the UNM ‘defend votes,’ and to join the opposition rally in central Tbilisi tomorrow, demanding Saakashvili’s release from prison. 

The ex-president, who is a citizen of Ukraine and chairs the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council, wishes to be released from prison before run-offs. 

Saakashvili was convicted in Georgia in absentia back in 2018 and was sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of authority. 

He has also been charged with four other cases related to illegal takeover of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal and illegally crossing the border.