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Mikheil Saakashvili on new hunger strike 

23 February 2022
Mikheil Saakashvili in court in February 2022. Photo via Mtavari.

This is the second time former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has gone on hunger strike since his return to Georgia last autumn.

During a Monday hearing in the Tbilisi City Court, where he stands accused of exceeding his official powers for his role in ordering a 2007 government crackdown, Saakashvili announced that he would again go on hunger strike until he received ‘adequate healthcare’.

[Read on OC Media: The 2007 crackdown — Saakashvili’s greatest mistake?]

He later clarified in a post on Facebook that his request included the proviso that his treatment must be carried out 'outside of penitentiary facilities'.

‘Those who are worried about the fate of my life, it can be saved only by getting out of this system,’ the former president wrote.

Reactions to Saakashvili’s renewed hunger strike have been polarised mostly along party lines.

First Deputy Chair of the Georgian Parliament Gia Volski called Saakashvili's announcement 'provocative as always'. The chair of the Saakashvili-founded United National Movement opposition party, Nika Melia, said that the demands made by Saakashvili were ‘very humane and fair’.


Melia also stressed that the new hunger strike ‘poses a serious threat’ to Saakashvili’s life as he had ‘almost died’ when he had previously gone on hunger strike in the autumn of 2021.

Saakashvili began that hunger strike on 1 October, the same day he was arrested by Georgian authorities. He had snuck into the country on 28 September. 

On the 50th day of the hunger strike, Saakashvili was transported to a military hospital in the town of Gori, and ended his hunger strike. He was later sent back to prison.

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