Georgia: demonstration of support in front of the prison of ex-president Saakashvili

Audio 01:16

“Revolution, # LibérezMicha”, we can read on this poster, during the demonstration in support of the former president in front of his prison in Roustavi.

AFP - VANO SHLAMOV

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

In Georgia, more than 5,000 supporters of Mikheïl Saakachvili gathered this Saturday, November 6 in Roustavi, at the gates of the prison where the former president has been imprisoned for five weeks.

They demand the transfer of the one they call "Micha" in a civilian clinic, while he is on his 38th day of hunger strike.

Reporting.

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With our special correspondent in Roustavi,

Régis Genté

They were more than 5,000, came by their own means.

They gathered in the small town of Roustavi, about forty kilometers from Tbilisi, to demand under the barbed wire of prison No. 12 the transfer of Mikheïl Saakashvili, currently on

hunger strike

, to a civilian clinic.

For Tako, a housewife accompanied by her worker husband, the years when Micha was president, between 2004 and 2013, are historic.

 I came,

” she said, “

to help save the life of our third president, to be by his side.

He brought us out of the dark years, the 1990s. He put the state back on its feet, brought light back to this country. 

"

People march after a rally in front of the Roustavi prison, this Saturday, November 6, 2021, to demand the release of their ex-president Mikheïl Saakashvili, imprisoned in early October on his return from exile just before the first round of the elections and who began a hunger strike for a month.

AFP - VANO SHLAMOV

► Also read: The return of Saakashvili adds confusion, according to Jean Radvanyi

Certainly, the image of Mikheil Saakashvili has faded somewhat among his 3.7 million compatriots.

But he felt he could still electrify the Georgian electorate.

Hence his

clandestine return to the country

, after eight years of exile, on the eve of the

first round

of municipal elections, on October 2.

Many saw this election as a last chance to put an end to what much of Georgian society considers to be an authoritarian drift on the part of the ruling Georgian Dream party of oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili.

A fight where Micha appears as a savior, but for only part of the opposition.

This rally in front of his prison was therefore also an opportunity to denounce what they consider to be gross electoral fraud, during the second round of the municipal elections held on

October 30

.

Demonstration of support for Mikheïl Saakachvili in front of his prison in Roustavi, near Tbilisi, on November 6, 2021. AFP - VANO SHLAMOV

► To re-read: Monster demonstration in Georgia to support the imprisoned ex-president Saakashvili

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  • Georgia

  • Mikheil Saakashvili

  • Justice

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