Foreign Ministry calls on Georgia "to stop abusing" Saakashvili and send him to Ukraine

2 February, 05:55 PM
Saakashvili was diagnosed with dementia and tuberculosis (Photo:Mikheil Saakashvili / Facebook)

Saakashvili was diagnosed with dementia and tuberculosis (Photo:Mikheil Saakashvili / Facebook)

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry called on Tbilisi "to stop immediately abusing" former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is currently a Ukrainian citizen, and send him to Kyiv, according to an official statement posted on the ministry’s website on Feb. 2.

Saakashvili has been imprisoned since his covert return to Georgia ahead of local elections in the fall of 2021. He hadn't visited the country since his second presidential term ended in 2013. Several criminal cases were opened against Saakashvili by the current Georgian government, which then sentenced him to six years in prison for "abuse of office.”

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In protest, the politician has declared several hunger strikes, insisting that he was arrested for political reasons. According to Saakashvili's lawyers, family, and supporters, as a result of the hunger strike and the improper treatment, he is in serious health condition and needs treatment abroad.

The politician has been diagnosed with dementia and tuberculosis, his lawyer, Shalva Khachapuridze, said. He has now been transferred from prison to a medical clinic.

The Foreign Ministry expressed its resolute protest against the "inhumane treatment" of Saakashvili, currently detained by the Georgian authorities, and called on them to "not play with a person's life for political revenge."

The ministry stated that the Georgian government are acting "in the worst traditions of the NKVD USSR...applying psychological and physical violence to Mikheil Saakashvili, refuse to provide him with urgently needed medical assistance, deliberately creating a direct threat to his life."

Kyiv considers these actions as a "gross violation of human rights" in regard to the former Georgian president and former governor of Odesa Oblast which is against Georgia's declared pro-European course. The ministry sees it as "evidence of limiting democracy in Georgia.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that the Georgian government is killing Saakashvili.

Ukraine has openly called on other countries and international organisations to speak out in Saakashvili’s favor, "whose life is in danger due to political repressions by the Georgian authorities."

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