Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on a hunger strike for several weeks, said on Monday he feared for his life after being mistreated in prison by guards.
“They called me Asma, hit me on the neck and pulled my hair on the ground,” Saakashvili said in a letter to his lawyers. He said he was taken to hospital on Monday “to be killed there.”
Saakashvili has been in prison since returning home after years of exile. He has been on hunger strike since 1 October and was taken to the prison hospital “to prevent the deterioration of his health”.
Saakashvili was the country’s president from 2004 to 2013 and was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison in 2018 for abuse of power. He says he was politically motivated behind his trial. After leaving Georgia, Saakashvili, who on paper is still married to the Dutchwoman Sandra Roelof, received Ukrainian citizenship. He recently announced that he has a new partner, Ukrainian MP Lisa Yasko. She said she was worried about her boyfriend.
Tens of thousands of supporters demonstrated earlier in the capital, Tbilisi, for his release, and thousands took to the streets on Monday when it was announced that the former president had been taken to hospital.
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