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President Zourabichvili Pledges to Never Pardon Ex-president Saakashvili

By Khatia Bzhalava
Friday, November 5
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said yesterday that she would never pardon former president Mikheil Saakashvili, claiming that he is neither a victim nor a political prisoner. “He deliberately entered the country illegally to cause destabilization,” the president stated.

Zurabishvili has received severe criticism from opposition parties. According to Salome Samadashvili, a member of the Lelo- Partnership for Georgia faction, it is a tragedy of the country that the president missed ‘a historic chance’ when she could ‘write a new, better future in the modern history of her country.

A member of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, Zaal Udumashvili, has stated that Zurabishvili was appointed with the support of the ruling party and is still fulfilling the demands of the party.

In response to Zurabishvili’s recent statement former president Saakashvili has stressed that he does not expect to be pardoned by the regime that ‘made up’ cases against him.

“I am a personal prisoner of Putin. They [GD] take instructions directly from Moscow and thus only the Georgian people can release me,” reads the letter of the former President of Georgia.

Saakashvili has praised the decision of politician Elene Khoshtaria, who has started a hunger strike in Parliament in demand of Saakashvili’s transfer to a civil clinic instead of a prison hospital. According to Khoshtaria, she has ‘never been Saakashvili's supporter’ and does not approve of many of his actions, however, she believes that the government’s attitude to Saakashvili is ‘cynical and unacceptable,’ and that Saakashvili’s life is at risk. Khoshtaria has stated that some other individuals also plan to join her strike.

According to "Ukrinform", Ukrainian Rada High Commissioner for Human Rights Ludmila Denisova has met with Mikheil Saakashvili's mother Giuli Alasania and her lawyer. As Denisova noted, Saakashvili's mother is worried about the health of her son and fears that prolonged hunger could have irreversible consequences for his life and health. Saakashvili has been on a hunger strike for 34 days and has lost 20 kilograms.

Yesterday, the ex-president’s mother appealed to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to ensure Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine. According to Alasania, Saakashvili requires special medical treatment to survive after a 35-day hunger strike, however, the only place the government offers to place him is the prison infirmary. Saakashvili’s mother, as well as his party members and supporters, claim that Saakashvili requires such treatments that cannot be provided in the prison clinic.