The third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on a hunger strike in Rustavi prison for the twenty-first day, intends to “continue the hunger strike to the end,” but agrees to take medications recommended by a council of doctors. This became known on Wednesday, when the lawyer Dmitry Sadzaglishvili, after a meeting with his client, told reporters another letter ex-president from a prison cell.
“Until I am in prison, I do not intend to take food in any form and is ready to die,” the letter says. At the same time, wishing to “maintain clarity of consciousness and efficiency”, Mr. Saakashvili “agrees to take medications” that “will help to be conscious in order to participate in current events and be useful to Georgia.”
The day before, he was examined by a council of doctors consisting of an attending physician, representatives of the Ministry of Health and prison doctors. They ruled that although the patient was “significantly weakened,” there was no immediate threat to his life. Nevertheless, the council recommended that Mikhail Saakashvili be transferred to a hospital.
Justice Minister Rati Bregadze responded assured: all recommendations of doctors will be “strictly followed.” However, the minister made it clear that if Mikheil Saakashvili was transferred to a hospital, it would only be to a prison, and not to a city one, as his party members and supporters would like.
According to Kommersant’s information from competent sources familiar with the prison practice and the situation around the former president, a starving politician, with his consent, can be installed with IV drips for the administration of drugs necessary to maintain the body’s vital functions in conditions of refusal to eat.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Saakashvili received an extremely sensitive blow from an unexpected side: the locum tenens of the Patriarch of All Georgia Ilya II, Vladyka Shio (Mujiri) said during a church sermon: “The Holy Scriptures do not at all speak of the need for the forgiveness of evil. In fact, evil must be punished and cut off. ” This is how the top hierarchy of the Georgian Orthodox Church responded to calls to stand up for Mikhail Saakashvili and save his life.
Vladyka Shio’s sermon provoked a violent reaction from the ex-president’s supporters. His lawyer, the head of the opposition television company Mtavari Archi (Main Channel) Nika Gvaramia, attacking the clergyman in his author’s program, explained his position is that Shio Mujiri “studied at the Moscow St. Tikhon University”, therefore “performs the same shameful anti-Georgian role as the Russian exarchs of the ROC in Georgia during the Russian Empire.”
Read how the Georgian authorities react in the article “Mikhail Saakashvili can be forced to feed.”