Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday said the awarding of the imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili with Norway’s Sjur Lindebrekke Award for promotion of human rights and democracy was a “mockery” and an “insult” to Georgia’s citizens.
Responding to the awarding of Saakashvili with the prize on Sunday, Garibashvili said the former official had been an “authoritarian, almost dictatorial former ruler” and the “creator of an oppressive, murderous system” in the country during the United National Movement Government.
The Georgian PM made a reference to the 2011 terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik that killed 77 in Norway, and said Saakashvili’s “killing of hundreds of people” while in office made granting him with the Lindebrekke Award “almost the same if some country gave Breivik an award”.
[P]eople were tortured, raped, tormented, killed by the criminal system [of the UNM Government], and what a mockery of our people and insult it is that the well-known authoritarian, almost dictatorial ruler - former ruler Saakashvili - who was the creator of the oppressive, murderous system, was awarded in the field of human rights”, the head of the Government said.
“This is a mockery of our people and of course it means nothing”, the PM added, highlighting Saakashvili’s conviction for his role in the high-profile 2006 case of the killing of banker Sandro Girgvliani in Georgia.