In critical condition and in intensive care.

Former Georgian president and opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili ended his 50-day hunger strike in detention on Saturday after being transferred to a military hospital.

The former Georgian president (2004-2013) had stopped eating on October 1 to protest against his imprisonment on his return to Tbilisi.

On Thursday, he had passed out during a meeting with his lawyers.

Pro-Western president from 2004 to 2013 and now considered the leader of the opposition, Mikheil Saakashvili had returned to Georgia after an eight-year exile in Ukraine.

Immediately arrested, he was imprisoned under his conviction for "abuse of power", which he considers to be purely political.

Real arm wrestling

Former "President Saakashvili officially ended his hunger strike just after being transferred to the military hospital in Gori", some 90 kilometers west of the capital Tbilisi, told AFP his personal doctor, Nikoloz Kipchidzé.

"He is still in critical condition and has been placed in an intensive care unit," he added, adding that the opponent would start to "eat later in the day on Saturday".

The Georgian authorities initially rejected the doctors' recommendations to hospitalize him in a civilian establishment, before changing your tone on Friday and transferring him overnight to a military hospital.

Thousands of supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, 53, took to the streets on Friday night in the capital Tbilisi to demand guarantees of adequate medical assistance for the former leader of the Caucasian country, currently considered the leader. of the opposition.

On Friday, Justice Minister Rati Bregadzé accused the opposition of "exploiting Saakashvili's health for his ridiculous political ends".

Accusations of fraud and bias

"I will never accept my illegal imprisonment," Mikheil Saakashvili said on Facebook on Friday evening, adding that he was ready to "appear before a fair trial and accept any verdict he delivers."

“As soon as I am released, I will join you - as an equal among equals - in rebuilding our country,” Mikheil Saakashvili wrote.

He thanked his compatriots for their "incredible demonstration of solidarity and humanity" and called for a campaign "to liberate the country" from the domination of the Georgian Dream Party of oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili.

“I believe in our victory like never before,” he said.

In 2018, Saakashvili was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for "abuse of power", charges he said were fabricated and politically motivated.

The arrest of Mikheil Saakashvili exacerbated a political crisis following the legislative elections in 2020, narrowly won by the ruling Georgian Dream Party, and which the opposition deemed fraudulent.


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