Saakashvili ready to take medicine, but says he will continue hunger strike

  • The third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, left the country in 2013, shortly after the Georgian Dream coalition defeated his United National Movement party in the 2012 parliamentary elections. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 20 Oct 2021 - 16:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on hunger strike since his arrest in Tbilisi on October 1, says that he is ready to take medicines to ‘maintain the strength to think and act’, but vows that he will not suspend his hunger strike. 

Saakashvili, who returned to Georgia after eight years in political exile to help his United National Movement (UNM) retake office, claims all charges against him are politically motivated and that he is a “personal prisoner of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the pro-Russian Georgian Dream government."

I returned to help the Georgian people climb out of the mess which the Georgian Dream government has made over the years. I am ready to die for this goal,” Saakashvili said. 

A medical council checked Saakashvili’s  health in prison yesterday. 

As one of the doctors told journalists, Saakashvili’s health condition is satisfactory, but it may worsen at any moment and that the council recommends his hospitalization. 

Justice Minister Rati Bregadze says they are ready to fulfill the recommendations of the medical council if Saakashvili accepts treatment, as, by law, Saakashvili cannot be brought to hospital against his will.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has once again accused Saakashvili ‘of staging a show’ with his hunger strike. 

The former 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 municipal election run-offs on October 30.

Saakashvili was convicted in Georgia in absentia 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 seizure of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal and illegally crossing the border.