Saakashvili’s Condition Worsening, Doctor Warns Against Continuing Hunger Strike
© REUTERS / GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTRYGeorgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was detained after returning to the country, is escorted by police officers as he arrives at a prison in Rustavi, Georgia October 1, 2021, in this still image taken from video.
TBILISI (Sputnik) - Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili is feeling worse after ten days of hunger strike in prison, his personal doctor says.
"His condition has worsened. He has difficulty moving, it’s hard for him to speak. With his personal permission I am disclosing that Saakashvili has a blood disorder - thalassemia," Nikoloz Kipshidze said on Mtavari Arkhi TV on Sunday.
The medic specified that thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder characterized by decreased hemoglobin production, is not fatal, but a person suffering from it cannot go on a hunger strike.
"I plan to visit him again tomorrow. I think that we will probably transfer him to a hospital," Kipshidze said, adding that Saakashvili's condition worsened in the past two days and that the former president has lost a lot of weight.
Saakashvili was arrested in Georgia on October 1 and has been on a hunger strike since then to protest the charges brought against him.
Saakashvili served as the Georgian president from 2004 to 2013. Later he was the governor of Ukraine's Odessa Region. The politician was arrested in his home country as soon as he returned from Ukraine for his alleged role in the murder of a banker and an assault on a member of the Georgian parliament. Other cases against Saakashvili are being heard in court.
The 53-year-old has claimed that he is a political prisoner.