Georgia’s jailed ex-leader Saakashvili ends 50-day starvation strike

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili agrees to finish strike after authorities supply to move him to a army hospital.

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has agreed to finish a 50-day starvation strike in jail that had raised political tensions within the former Soviet republic and drawn expressions of concern from the United States.

Saakashvili agreed to finish his protest on Friday after authorities provided to move him to a army hospital from a jail hospital the place an impartial rights commissioner had mentioned he was being abused by fellow inmates and never receiving acceptable medical remedy.

On Thursday, Saakashvili fainted and medical doctors had urged authorities to move him to a daily clinic, saying his life was at risk.

Reuters TV footage confirmed a convoy together with two ambulances departing late on Friday from the jail the place Saakashvili, 53, had been held within the capital Tbilisi, en path to the army hospital within the city of Gori.

In a press release quoted by the Sputnik Georgia information service, the previous president mentioned he would resume consuming after the switch however would by no means settle for his “illegal detention”.

His private physician, Nokoloz Kipshidze, mentioned “[Former] president Saakashvili formally called off his hunger strike right after he was transferred to the Gori military hospital”.

“He still is in a life-threatening condition and was placed in an intensive care ward,” Kipshidze instructed AFP information company, including that Saakashvili’s “re-feeding will begin later on Saturday”.

Saakashvili was arrested on October 1 after coming back from exile to rally the opposition on the eve of native elections. He faces six years in jail after being convicted in absentia in 2018 of abusing his workplace throughout his 2004-2013 presidency, costs he rejects as politically motivated.

Georgia’s human rights commissioner mentioned on Wednesday that Saakashvili wanted to be moved to intensive care to keep away from the chance of coronary heart failure, inside bleeding and coma after greater than a month and a half on starvation strike.

Until Friday, he had insisted on being transferred to a civilian hospital.

‘Denied dignity’

Last week, the European Court of Human Rights dominated that Georgia should guarantee Saakashvili’s “safety in prison, and to provide him with appropriate medical care for the post-hunger-strike recovery period”.

Saakashvili was moved final week to a jail hospital the place, Amnesty International mentioned, he had been “denied dignity” in addition to enough care.

The rights group on Twitter described it as “selective justice” and “apparent political revenge”.

Saakashvili has mentioned he was assaulted by jail guards and that he feared for his life.

Saakashvili took energy through a peaceable “Rose Revolution” in 2003 till 2013 and carried out pro-Western reforms throughout his time period however led Georgia right into a disastrous warfare with Russia.

He left the nation after his second and final time period expired and had since lived in exile in Ukraine, the place he headed a authorities company steering reforms.

His case has drawn hundreds of his supporters onto the streets in current weeks.

Georgia President Salome Zourabichvili has mentioned Saakashvili won’t be pardoned. The US on Thursday urged Georgia to deal with him “fairly and with dignity” and it was intently following his scenario.

“I will never accept my illegal imprisonment,” Saakashvili mentioned on Facebook Friday night, including that he was able to “appear before a fair trial and accept any verdict it delivers”.

As quickly as I’m let loose, I’ll be part of you – as equal amongst equals – in rebuilding our nation,” Saakashvili wrote in an deal with to the nation.

He thanked Georgians for the “unbelievable show of solidarity and humanity” and known as for a marketing campaign “to liberate the country” from the rule of oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream social gathering.

“I believe in our victory as never before.”