The health of Georgia’s former leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, who is currently behind bars, has deteriorated because he’s been subjected to poor treatment and abuse while in custody, an independent council of doctors has claimed.
On Saturday, medics who examined the imprisoned politician said he had developed a number of neurological diseases “as a result of torture, ill-treatment, inadequate medical care, and a prolonged hunger strike,” referring in the last of these to Saakashvili’s self-imposed starvation, which he endured for 50 days.
In a statement, the doctors revealed that the 53-year-old had been diagnosed with Wernicke encephalopathy, a potentially fatal brain condition, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other conditions.
Psychiatrist Mariam Jishkariani told the AFP news agency the illnesses were a product of Saakashvili’s “psychological torture in prison,” which could leave him incapacitated, she said, if he wasn’t given “proper medical care.”
She said Saakashvili may have been subject to pharmacological abuse, claiming he had been “wrongly prescribed antipsychotic drugs which he hadn’t needed … which could further damage his health.”
In a statement the following day, Elizaveta Yasko, the jailed politician’s girlfriend, who has a seat in the Ukrainian parliament as a lawmaker in the governing Servant of the People party, said the neurological disorders were affecting his cognition, including his coordination and memory.
Last month, the former leader scribbled a note in which he claimed he had been beaten and dragged across asphalt while other inmates looked on and mocked him. In the letter, obtained by Bloomberg, Saakashvili warned that “if the US doesn’t come to my defense, it would be a terrible signal to all pro-Western leaders and populations” in the region.
The former president was detained on October 1, after having covertly entered the country while elections were taking place. After his detention, he refused food for several weeks to decry what he deemed to be his politically motivated imprisonment. The legitimacy of his hunger strike was questioned by Georgian Justice Minister Rati Bregadze, however, who claimed he had eaten porridge and continued to take his medication throughout.
Saakashvili fled the former Soviet republic in 2013 and was at the center of several criminal cases over alleged abuses of power and other offenses during his time in office. He briefly relocated to the US, fearing persecution in Georgia, but moved to Ukraine just two years later and went on to assume the role of governor of Odessa Oblast.
Salome Zourabichvili, the country’s incumbent president, has ruled out any chance of granting a pardon to her predecessor, who is set to serve at least six years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
https://ift.tt/3mlOjEO 21, 2021 at 12:40PM
from RT – Daily news