Ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, in a column for Politico, said that in the Georgian prison where he is now, he turned from a healthy and energetic man into a sick man with 20 diagnoses. Saakashvili writes that he will soon die if he does not receive medical assistance outside the country. The Insider quotes an excerpt from his address to the international community:
“When I returned to Georgia in October 2021 after eight years in exile to support free and fair parliamentary elections, I was a healthy, energetic 54-year-old man. I was then immediately arrested by the Georgian authorities and have since been imprisoned based on rumors and politically motivated charges of “abuse of power” that only the Kremlin and the current government of Georgia consider legitimate.
And in detention my health deteriorated sharply; I am dying now.
I have been systematically tortured, physically and mentally, and currently have signs of heavy metal poisoning in my system . I now suffer from a staggering array of over 20 serious illnesses, all of which developed in custody.
It is becoming increasingly clear that I will die soon if I do not receive proper medical care outside the country.
I continue to call on the US and the international community to do everything they can to save my life by putting diplomatic pressure on the Georgian government and imposing economic sanctions on Ivanishvili and his associates.
My death may cause political chaos in Georgia, but my martyrdom will certainly be considered a victory for Putin - a powerful symbol for perhaps the whole world, which will see that it is impossible to resist Russian imperialism.
Also in his column, Saakashvili points out that after the start of the war in Ukraine, Georgia “continues to slide towards the Kremlin”:
“Democratic regression in Georgia was once again marked by the release of the US State Department Human Rights Report , and the global threat to democracy was demonstrated during a meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
However, at the same time, the people of Georgia reaffirmed their commitment to democracy and the fight against such tyranny by protesting in the streets in front of the parliament building in downtown Tbilisi .”
Mikheil Saakashvili served as President of Georgia from 2004 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2013.
Saakashvili actively supported the Euromaidan movement and the change of power in Ukraine in 2014. In 2015, he was appointed an adviser to the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and also received Ukrainian citizenship, which was the reason for his renunciation of Georgian citizenship.
Saakashvili returned to his homeland in October 2021 and was immediately arrested, since back in 2018 a Georgian court sentenced him in absentia to six years in prison, finding him guilty of abuse of power. By May 2022, the health of the former president was so undermined that he was transferred to the hospital. Among the diagnoses made to the politician are dementia and "intoxication of the body", in addition, during the time of imprisonment, he lost more than 40 kg.
Saakashvili himself stated that he had been poisoned, and turned to the head of the Bellingcat journalistic investigation group, Hristo Grozev, with a request to investigate the attempt on his life.