Doctors To Visit Georgia Ex-leader On Hunger Strike: Lawyer

Doctors to visit Georgia ex-leader on hunger strike: lawyer

Tbilisi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Oct, 2021 ) :Georgia's jailed ex-president and opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili who has been on hunger strike for nearly three weeks will be examined by doctors on Tuesday, his lawyer said.

Saakashvili declared a hunger strike as he was imprisoned upon his return from exile in Ukraine on October 1. The 53-year-old said his arrest was politically motivated.

His doctor has expressed concern over the risk of irreversible damage to his health.

"On Tuesday afternoon, a council of medics set up by the government will examine his health condition and decide on whether or not he needs hospitalisation," Saakashvili's lawyer, Dito Sadzaglishvili, told AFP.

Georgia's Justice Minister Rati Bregadze told journalists: "our sole interest is that his rights are respected and his health is stable." Saakashvili's personal doctor, Nikoloz Kipshidze, who visited him in custody, has said the former leader's "underlying blood disorder makes his hunger strike particularly dangerous." Under Georgian law, a medical intervention without a patient's consent is only allowed "if the person is unconscious and there is an imminent risk to his life," Sadzaglishvili said.

Saakashvili served as the Caucasus country's president between 2004 and 2013. He also founded the country's main opposition force.

He was convicted in absentia on charges of abuse of office and sentenced to six years in prison in 2018.

The flamboyant pro-Western reformer denies wrongdoing.

Last week, tens of thousands of Georgians flooded onto the streets of the capital Tbilisi to demand Saakashvili's release and more than 90,000 people signed an online petition to the same effect.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili sparked an outcry in Georgia when he said in televised remarks that the government had to arrest Saakashvili because he has refused to quit politics.

The prosecution of Saakashvili and many of his allies by the current government has prompted concerns in the West.

His detention deepened a protracted political crisis in Georgia, where opposition parties complained of widespread fraud in last year's parliamentary elections, narrowly won by the ruling Georgian Dream party.