Mikheil Saakashvili was taken to Gldani Prison Hospital against his will
The third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, was moved to Gldani Prison Hospital on November 8. The Special Penitentiary Service announced his transfer to Gldani Prison Hospital at around 7 P.M. Saakashvili’s doctor, Nikoloz Kipshidze, said earlier that day that the doctors’ council had recommended Saakashvili to be taken immediately to a high-tech, multi-profile hospital.
Various media outlets reported footage from the Gldani penitentiary institution of prisoners cursing former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was taken from Rustavi N12 Prison to Gldani N18 Prison Hospital against his will
The ombudsman noted that despite the announced readiness of the institution’s administration to “protect the safety of any prisoner,” the institution’s “infrastructure and environment cannot rule out the risk of verbal aggression and noise [against Saakashvili], verbal abuse or psychological pressure” by certain groups of prisoners.
On November 9, the ombudsman said that placing former President Mikheil Saakashvili in a penitentiary facility “clearly violates the state’s obligation to respect human dignity.” He called on the Minister of Justice and the Penitentiary Service to transfer Saakashvili to an alternative medical facility immediately.
In response, Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream, said that Nino Lomjaria (ombudswoman of Georgia) and the United National Movement had “the same agenda.”
The transfer of Saakashvili to the hospital was followed by an international response. The US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, has urged the Georgian authorities to provide immediate medical assistance to former President Mikheil Saakashvili in a “fully equipped medical facility”.
At a briefing on November 9, in response to a reporter’s question, US State Department spokesman Ned Price called on the Georgian government to “take immediate steps to meet Saakashvili’s urgent psychological and medical needs.” “We continue to call on the Georgian authorities to treat Saakashvili fairly and with dignity, by international standards and Georgian law.”
On November 11, the Special Penitentiary Service released two videos. The first video shows Mikheil Saakashvili refusing to be transferred to Gldani Prison N18 and demanding to return to Rustavi N12 Prison. The second video shows footage of his forcible transfer.
The treatment of Mikheil Saakashvili was also condemned by international organizations. Amnesty International said that “ex-President Saakashvili (who has been on hunger strike for five weeks) was taken to hospital by force, with possible threats, violation of the principle of dignity and privacy, and without proper medical care. This is not just selective justice, it is an act of clear political revenge. “
The ECHR has ruled on a temporary measure in Saakashvili’s case
Nika Gvaramia, the lawyer of the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, spoke at a special briefing about a letter received from the European Court regarding the use of a temporary measure in connection with Saakashvili’s case. According to Gvaramia, the case of Mikheil Saakashvili was given priority and the lawyers were given a certain deadline to file a lawsuit. “Most importantly, our request for a temporary measure has been met,” Nika Gvaramia said, adding, “The court is calling on Mikheil Saakashvili to end the hunger strike.” With this call, he acknowledges the fact that Mikheil Saakashvili is on a hunger strike. “
According to Gvaramia, the court instructed the Georgian authorities to immediately inform them about Saakashvili’s current state of health and also to provide detailed information about all the medical procedures performed on him in the 18th medical facility of the prison.
The Minister of Justice of Georgia Rati Bregadze responded to the answer of the European Court of Human Rights. According to him, the Georgian government was notified by a letter to the ECHR on November 10, 2021, that Mikheil Saakashvili’s representatives had applied to the European Court of Human Rights with the following request: Immediately transfer Mikheil Saakashvili from №18 medical facility (where, according to the complainant, his health and safety are not adequately protected) to a multi-profile civil clinic. According to minister, the court didn’t satisfy their demand in regard to the transfer of Mikheil Saakashvili to civil clinic.
After meeting with Mikheil Saakashvili on November 11, Nika Gvaramia said that the third president was ready to end the hunger strike if he was rehabilitated at a hospital of appropriate standards. The authorities haven’t accepted Saakashvili’s demand yet, therefore he is still on hunger strike.