Jailed Georgian ex-president Saakashvili starts, quickly ends hunger strike


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 15, ARTSAKHPRESS. Jailed Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili declared a hunger strike Wednesday over a failed court hearing. Hours later, his lawyer said it had been called off. 

Saakashvili announced the protest to demand prison officials allow him to participate in the court hearing online from a clinic in the capital, Tbilisi, where he’s being treated for health problems, his lawyer said.

Officials blamed technical problems with the connection to the court, which then postponed the hearing to Dec. 22.

RIA Novosti quoted the former Georgian president’s letter which was read by his lawyer Vakhtang Baramashvili. “I received a message from the members of the European Parliament, who asked me to end the hunger strike at this stage in order to not give the relevant services a reason to claim that I am harming myself. At the same time, MEPs promise to focus all diplomatic efforts to ensure the protection of my basic rights.

“I feel bad not because I purposely didn’t eat anything, but because I was poisoned…” Saakashvili said in the letter.

Saakashvili claims he was a victim of ill-treatment for months, which is confirmed by leading experts, including Nobel Prize laureates.

Supporters of the former president believe that the Georgian government is doing everything to prevent Saakashvili from appearing in public.

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