The State Inspector’s Service will study the lawfulness of the photo and video materials about the arrested former president Mikheil Saakashvili receiving food at the No. 12 prison facility in the city of Rustavi after the Special Penitentiary Service has made the footage public.
The penitentiary service posted the materials in social media yesterday due to "high public interest" to dismiss the claims about the worsening health conditions of Saakashvili.
In a statement released yesterday, the inspector’s service has underlined the importance of ‘protecting the privacy of the person being on hunger strike while deprived of his liberty’.
A person deprived of his or her liberty must have confidence in the institution and the medical personnel where he or she is placed and from whom he or she receives medical assistance”, the statement reads.
It further says that otherwise, ‘he may refrain from receiving medical care and providing important information to medical personnel that would endanger his life and health’.
The release of the photographs and the video follows a series of disagreements and mutual rejection of statements by officials and the opposition figures about Saakashvili's hunger strike, diet and health circumstances.
Calling the footage disclosure ‘an absurd’ the arrested ex-president wrote on Facebook that at the medical cabinet shown in the materials he was receiving only the minerals and micro element supplies prescribed by the doctors and do not contradict with his hunger strike.
No one goes to a medical cabinet to eat. Patients are provided with only medical care there. Video cameras are installed at the medical cabinet legally, but not for publication but for security reasons”, Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili also added that everything he receives at the penitentiary facility has his signature, however, he claims to have never seen the food containers shown in the photos released by the penitentiary facility.
Such a shameful and criminal disclosure of the footage does not really harm me. On the contrary, everyone made sure that I am really on hunger strike and thus I am not in the best shape”, Saakashvili wrote on Facebook.
Georgia’s third president, who now holds Ukrainian citizenship, was detained in Tbilisi on October 1 a day before the municipal elections.
Day 37 of a hunger strike. #FreeSaakashvili— Mikheil Saakashvili (@SaakashviliM) November 6, 2021
Facing several criminal charges, including for the illegal crossing of the state border, Saakashvili remains on hunger strike for the 37th consecutive day. Protest rallies are being held outside his prison and other towns demanding Saakashvili’s release