Public Defender Visits Mikheil Saakashvili in Medical Establishment No. 18 of Penitentiary Service

On November 8, 2021, Public Defender Nino Lomjaria visited third President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who was transferred to Medical Establishment No. 18 of the Penitentiary Service.

At the meeting, Mikheil Saakashvili told the Public Defender that he had no information about his transfer to Establishment No. 18, as he was informed at Establishment No. 12 that he would be transferred to a multifunctional civil clinic on the basis of the decision of the medical council, which he agreed to.

It should be noted that representatives of the Public Defender's Office visited Establishment No. 12 as well, where they could not find any document about provision of information to Mikheil Saakashvili or his consent relating to his transfer to Establishment No. 18.

Speaking to the Public Defender, Mikheil Saakashvili explained that despite his refusal, he was forcibly placed in Establishment No. 18. The Public Defender's Office immediately informed the State Inspector's Office about the above for the purpose of launching an investigation.

Particular attention should be paid to the environment in which Mikheil Saakashvili is placed, which grossly violates human rights. In particular, insulting and threatening shouts by prisoners of Establishment No. 18 are heard against Mikheil Saakashvili, which can be heard in Saakashvili's cell as well and clearly represents psychological pressure. Upon entering the penitentiary facility, voices of insult were heard by the Public Defender and her representatives. It is highly probable that a similar situation will continue and Mikheil Saakashvili's lawyers and other visitors will be subjected to similar verbal aggression.

The Public Defender has repeatedly stated in her statements that the transfer of the prisoner from Establishment No. 12 to Establishment No. 18 would lead to the disorganization of Establishments Nos. 8 and 18 due to the significant risk of verbal aggression, noise and harassment.

It should be noted that the Public Defender's Office checked the documents on the admission of prisoners to Establishment No. 18, as a result of which it was established that no other inmates of Establishment No. 12, except Mikheil Saakashvili, have been admitted to this facility since January 18, 2021. Information about the period before January 18, 2021 is yet unknown due to the inability to access the special archive at night hours.

It should also be noted that Mikheil Saakashvili continues to be on hunger strike and he refuses to receive proper medication, medical care, minerals or vitamins necessary for the procedures of hunger strike.

The Public Defender’s Office established as a result of the inspection that after the previous visit, a computed tomography device was brought to Establishment No. 18. However, the device was brought to the facility on the day of Mikheil Saakashvili's admission and its installation is planned in the near future. In addition, despite the request of the medical council, the facility does not have a catheterization laboratory or a magnetic resonance imaging machine.

Thus, the Public Defender reiterates that Medical Establishment No. 18 does not meet the recommendations issued by the council and that the placement of Mikheil Saakashvili in the facility clearly violates the obligation of the State to respect human dignity. Accordingly, the Public Defender calls on the Minister of Justice/Penitentiary Service to immediately transfer the third President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, to an alternative medical facility.

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