Open Letter to the Leaders of the Republic of Georgia

We, democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, Members of  Club of Madrid, are following with growing concern the health and fate of Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of the Republic of Georgia.

Since October 2021 former President Saakashvili has been detained in Georgia to stand trial on a number of different charges, raising concerns in Europe and the US that “the legal system [should] not be used as a tool for political retribution”. During these past months, President Saakashvili has been suffering from a series of complications following a prolonged hunger-strike. According to the Public Defender’s independent expert group monitoring President Saakashvili’s health, the government of Georgia has failed to meet medical recommendations, leading to further deterioration of President Saakashvili’s condition. However, while his health is reported to be dangerously deteriorating, he has not been permitted to seek medical treatment abroad.

In line with the respect due to President Saakashvili as a human being, we appeal to Georgian President, Salomé Zourabichvili, to Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and to all Georgian authorities to take the necessary legal steps to make it possible for President Saakashvili to receive the medical treatment his condition increasingly demands and which would be available abroad. This is a humanitarian issue, not a political one. Allowing President Saakashvili to secure the medical treatment he needs, will dispel doubts regarding the politicisation of measures being applied.

Time is of the essence and we urge Georgian authorities to act in this sense.