Opposition leader Khoshtaria on hunger strike: I’ll only accept medical care to prevent death

  • Droa leader noted that she received an IV infusion yesterday because her health examination showed ‘dangerous’ results. Photo: Elene Khoshtaria's Facebook page

Agenda.ge, 10 Nov 2021 - 19:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

Leader of the Droa opposition party Elene Khoshtaria, who has been on a hunger strike in the parliament building for eight days demanding the imprisoned former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s transfer to a civil clinic, has said that she will only accept medical care to prevent her own death.

I emphasize, I will receive no infusions that will improve my condition. I will only accept [treatment which will] prevent death or fainting, she said.

Khoshtaria expressed her gratitude to Parliament Chairman Kakha Kuchava who checked up on her while on hunger strike. However, she maintains that if the government wants to ‘defuse’ the political tension, they should transfer Saakashvili to a civil clinic.

Human Rights House Foundation called on the Georgian authorities to ‘immediately’ start dialogue with Khoshtaria regarding her demands.

Ms. Khoshtaria is a political leader with a long background of supporting human rights and acting as a human rights defender... In resorting to such a drastic form of protest, Ms. Khoshtaria is highlighting the very real implications of limiting space for protest and expression: namely, that those seeking to peacefully protest are left with few options other than extreme measures such as hunger strikes, they wrote.

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party head Irakli Kobakhidze said yesterday that Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) party conspired to poison Khoshtaria to ‘cause unrest’ in the country. Khoshtaria dismissed Kobakidze’s claims as ‘absurd.’

Khoshtaria’s father, retired politician Gogi Khoshtaria also dismissed Kobakhidze’s allegations, and urged the government to ‘stop playing with fire.’ 

Gogi Khoshtaria further addressed the US Embassy and Human Rights Watch in an open letter, saying that the current government ‘rudely violates’ Saakashvili’s rights.

Saakashvili was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1 after a clandestine return from eight years in political exile. He considers himself a ‘political prisoner’ and claims to be on a hunger strike.

The former president, who was serving his sentence in Rustavi Prison No.12, was transferred to Gldani prison hospital on November 8 to ‘prevent deterioration in his health due to increased risks,' the penitentiary service reported.

In a letter released from prison hospital, Saakashvili claimed that the purpose of his transfer was his physical destruction under Russian president Vladimir Putin’s order.