Jailed Georgian ex-president to end 7-week hunger strike | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Jailed Georgian ex-president to end 7-week hunger strike

A demonstrator holds a United States flag during a rally in support of former President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Several thousand people have rallied in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, demanding that authorities in the ex-Soviet nation transfer the jailed ex-president to a civilian hospital amid reports that his health is deteriorating after weeks of being on a hunger strike. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — A lawyer for Mikheil Saakashvili said Friday that the imprisoned former Georgian president has agreed to end a seven-week hunger strike that has caused him neurological damage.

Nika Gvaramia also said Saakashvili has agreed to be transferred from a prison clinic to a military hospital, an offer the country's government made hours earlier after persistent calls for him to be moved to a regular hospital for better care.

His supporters have repeatedly held protests, including one outside the parliament in the capital Tbilisi on Friday, denouncing Saakashvili's arrest and calling for him to be given better treatment.

On Thursday, Saakashvili fell and lost consciousness at the end of a visit with a lawyer in prison.

The national ombudsman’s office said the fall was due to a condition called Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which is caused by vitamin-B deficiency and can result in vision and motor problems.

Saakashvili, who was president from 2008-13, left Georgia for Ukraine after the end of his second term and was later convicted in absentia of abuse of power and sentenced to six years in prison. He was arrested on Oct. 1 after returning to Georgia to try to bolster opposition forces in the run-up to nationwide municipal elections.

He announced his hunger strike hours after being arrested.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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