Former Georgia President Michael Saakashvili, now the leader of the opposition, begins another hunger strike to denounce his prison conditions. He announced that on Monday. He demanded “appropriate medical care” in prison.

    Last year, the former president went on hunger strike for the first time to protest his imprisonment. He ended it after 50 days, on November 20, after being taken to a military hospital for treatment.

    However, the 54-year-old former president was sent back to prison on December 30, despite concerns from his entourage, who say he is very ill. An independent committee of doctors indicated in December that he continued to suffer from serious neurological problems as a result of abuse during his detention.

    It was precisely to receive neurological treatment that Saakashvili announced his new hunger strike on Monday, but also to point out that authorities are preventing his personal doctor from visiting him in prison.

    Leader of Opposition

    The arrest of Saakashvili exacerbated a political crisis after the 2020 parliamentary elections, which the ruling Georgian Dream party narrowly won but were called fraudulent by the opposition. Saakashvili was president of the country from 2004 to 2013 and is now the leader of the opposition. He argues that his prosecution is politically motivated. He was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison in 2018 for abuse of power. After his departure from Georgia, Saakashvili, who is married to the Dutch Sandra Roelofs, acquired Ukrainian nationality.

    Human rights activists accuse the Georgian government of using criminal procedures to punish political opponents.