Georgia May Face Permanent Protests Demanding Saakashvili's Medical Treatment Abroad

© Sputnik / Sputnik / Go to the mediabankParticipants in a rally of supporters of ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi.
Participants in a rally of supporters of ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.05.2022
TBILISI (Sputnik) - The ultimatum issued by former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's family expired on Monday, opening a possibility for the start of mass protests demanding that the former politician be transferred abroad for medical treatment.
On April 28, the brothers of jailed Saakashvili announced that the family and supporters of the former president would start permanent protests, should the Georgian government refuse to transfer him abroad for medical treatment. The family added that they are not trying to obtain a pardon for the politician, but only a postponement of his imprisonment and the provision of medical treatment.
On April 26, a member of the medical council formed by the ombudsman of Georgia, Otar Toidze, said that Saakashvili is close to disability or death and requires treatment abroad. Previously, the penal system of the Georgian Justice Ministry refuted the information disseminated by the opposition about a sharp deterioration in Saakashvili’s health. The politician is under round-the-clock intensive medical supervision and is provided with all medical services.
On April 1, Georgian Deputy Justice Minister Beka Dzamashvili said that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had refused to review a complaint by Saakashvili regarding alleged mistreatment in a Georgian prison due to "lack of special circumstances concerning human rights protection."
The former president was put in jail on October 1 last year, shortly after returning to Georgia, where he was wanted on several charges, including abuse of power, stealing public money, and ordering a crackdown on a peaceful rally. He is serving a six-year sentence. Saakashvili’s doctors and supporters say his health has deteriorated dramatically since he held two separate hunger strikes during his detention.
Saakashvili was the president of Georgia for two consecutive terms from 2004 to 2013 and was barred from seeking a third term under the Georgian constitution. Shortly after the end of his term, Saakashvili left the country. He actively supported Ukraine's Euromaidan in 2014 and 2015 and was appointed the governor of the Ukraine's region of Odesa after receiving Ukrainian citizenship.
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