The signatory organizations are responding to the transfer of the third President of Georgia to Medical Establishment No.18 of the Penitentiary Service. According to Mikheil Saakashvili, he was taken to the facility by deception and use of force, which is a gross violation of his rights. We believe that this decision and its probable outcomes posed the risks of escalating the political situation and provoking the opposition supporters, protest outside the government buildings.
The Public Defender visited the third President at the Establishment No.18 immediately, on the night of November 8. According to her, prisoners were heard shouting insulting and violent clamors towards Mikheil Saakashvili. The Public Defender considered such an environment to breach the dignity of the prisoner. Along with this, the Public Defender noted that the medical facility of the Establishment No.18 failed to fully comply with the recommendations issued by the medical Consilium as well as it was not technically properly equipped. The Public Defender had been pointing towards these risks throughout the last several weeks.
The public statements by the government officials clearly indicate that the decision on Saakashvili’s transfer to the Establishment No.18 was taken with their involvement and according to their desire, ignoring the recommendations of the medical Concilium and the Public Defender.
We believe that the full responsibility for the current events rests with the government. The decisions taken regarding the treatment of Mr. Saakashvili, have neither been aimed at diffusing the severe political crisis in the country nor have they been conditioned by the best health and safety interests of the prisoner. Taking into account the dire political situation, unjustified steps taken by the government could plunge the country into civil unrest.
We call on the government to take all the steps necessary to de-escalate the situation. Among them, it is vital that the third President of Georgia would be immediately transferred to an alternative medical institution, where his dignity, life, health and safety could be adequately ensured.
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Transparency International – Georgia (TI)
Open Society Foundation, OSGF
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
Partnership for Human Rights (PHR)