Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner arrives in Georgia to meet Saakashvili in prison

Lyudmyla Denisova says she came to Georgia to find out whether Mikheil Saakashvili’s human rights are being protected. Photo: Lyudmyla Denisova's Facebook page, 27 Oct 2021 - 13:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, is currently visiting former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili in Rustavi Prison No.12.

Denisova says that she's come to Georgia to find out whether Saakashvili’s human rights are being protected.

I would like to personally receive information regarding his health condition, as he’s been on a hunger strike for 27 days. I want to make sure that he will receive adequate treatment in the prison clinic, the advocate told the press.

Denisova added that she will also determine whether Saakashvili’s Ukrainian lawyer was denied entry to Georgia on legitimate grounds. 

Saakashvili, who is currently a citizen of Ukraine, fled Georgia in 2013, a year after his United National Movement (UNM) party lost parliamentary elections. In 2018, a Georgian court convicted him in absentia on two counts of abuse of power and sentenced him to six years in prison.

The ex-president was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1, after his clandestine return to Georgia.

Saakashvili is currently facing five additional charges, including illegal seizure of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal, and illegal border crossing.

The former president denies all charges, considers himself a political prisoner, and has been on a hunger strike since his arrest.

Saakashvili’s Georgian lawyers demand he be treated in a civil hospital rather than a prison clinic, as his health is reportedly deteriorating.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili denied the allegations, saying that Saakashvili is ‘staging a show’ with his hunger strike to spark tension ahead of municipal election runoffs on October 30.