Georgia, Saakashvili ends 50-day hunger strike

TBILISI, 20 NOV – Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today ended his 50-day hunger strike in detention after being transferred to a military hospital. His doctor made it known. “Saakashvili officially stopped his hunger strike, immediately after being transferred to the military hospital in Gori”, about 90 kilometers west of the capital Tbilisi, “in critical condition and was admitted to an intensive care unit” , said Dr. Nikoloz Kipshidze. The former Georgian president (2004-2013) stopped eating on 1 October to protest his imprisonment on his return to Tbilisi after years of exile in Ukraine. On Thursday he had passed out during a meeting with his lawyers. Georgian authorities initially rejected doctors’ recommendations to admit him to a civilian institution, before changing his mind yesterday and transferring him overnight to a military hospital. Thousands of supporters of Saakashvili, 53, took to the streets last night in the capital to ask for guarantees of adequate medical assistance for the former president of the Caucasus country, currently considered the leader of the opposition. Justice Minister Rati Bregadz√© yesterday accused the opposition of “exploiting Saakachvili’s health for its ridiculous political ends”. Dr Guiorgui Grigolia, who examined Saakashvili on Thursday after his illness, said his “life was in danger” and he had to “be transferred to a civilian clinic without delay,” citing the patient’s heart and neurological problems. (HANDLE).

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