Georgia’s Saakashvili says he’s dying in jail

7 April, 07:00 PM
Georgia’s Saakashvili says he’s dying in jail (Photo:Скріншот/

Georgia’s Saakashvili says he’s dying in jail (Photo:Скріншот/

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is dying, and his body shows signs of heavy metal poisoning, he said in a Politico opinion article published on April 7.

"In detention, my health has declined precipitously; I am now dying,” he wrote.

“I have been systematically tortured, physically and psychologically, and there is currently evidence of heavy metal poisoning in my body.”

He suffers from many serious illnesses, all of which developed in prison, the ex-president said.

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Saakashvili was diagnosed with dementia and tuberculosis, said his lawyer, Shalva Khachapuridze, in November 2022.

"It is also increasingly apparent that I will die soon if I don’t receive proper medical care outside of the country," he stressed.

Saakashvili called on the United States and the international community to do everything possible to save his life by putting diplomatic pressure on the Georgian government and imposing economic sanctions on politician Bidzina Ivanishvili and his associates.

"My death may cause political chaos in Georgia, but my martyrdom will certainly be considered a victory for Putin — a powerful symbol to all leaders in this region, and possibly the world, who fail to stand up to Russian imperialism," he said.

Saakashvili has been behind bars since secretly returning to Georgia before the local elections in Autumn 2021. He had returned for the first time since his second presidential term ended in 2013.

In protest, the politician went on hunger strike several times, insisting that he was arrested on political charges. According to Saakashvili's lawyers, family and supporters, the politician's health condition is so serious that he requires treatment abroad.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Feb. 2023 that the Georgian government was killing Saakashvili and called for him to be released for treatment in Ukraine or another country.

The same month, the Tbilisi City Court refused to release Saakashvili on health grounds. The Court of Appeal also denied the request on March 2.

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