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DRI: The events developed around 3rd President of Georgia indicate irreversible degradation of democratic institutions
09.11.2021
The Democracy Research Institute considers that the forcible transfer of the 3rd President of Georgia to Penitentiary Establishment No. 18 on November 8 once again proved the extreme politicization of state institutions and their irreversible degradation.

On November 8, 2021, according to the rights defenders of the former President of Georgia and the Public Defender of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili was told that he would be taken to a regular civil clinic, after which he was fraudulently transferred to Penitentiary Establishment No. 18, against his will. According to Mikheil Saakashvili, employees of the establishment forcibly dragged him from a car and verbally and physically abused him.[1] During the transfer, the third President of Georgia was subjected to numerous insulting and threatening statements made by prisoners, which lasted for several hours.

Provision of inadequate medical care is a violation of human rights. In the light of the above, it is worrying that the Medical Establishment No. 18 fails to meet the recommendations issued by the medical council and was assessed by the Public Defender as inadequately equipped - to provide, if necessary, all the necessary services specified in the medical council’s report.[2]

Mikheil Saakashvili's transfer to an inadequately equipped medical facility and forced treatment in a degrading environment may be considered a degrading and inhuman treatment and a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Relating to Article 3 of the Convention, it is the positive obligation of the State to establish whether there are risks of ill-treatment of a prisoner and take all reasonable measures within the limits of its official authority to eliminate such risks.[3] Consequently, by fraudulent transfer to the establishment, the State deliberately violated its positive obligation to provide adequate medical care to the prisoner and to ensure his psychological as well as physical safety.

In view of all the above, the Democracy Research Institute considers that the use of physical and psychological coercion against the 3rd President of Georgia, his placement in an improperly equipped medical facility where there are constant risks posing to his safety, life, physical and psychological health, as well as numerous cases of breaches of his privacy, point to the extreme politicization of state institutions and irreversible degradation of democratic institutions.

The Democracy Research Institute joins the statement of non-governmental organizations and considers that the Government should immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation, which, first of all, implies the immediate transfer of Mikheil Saakashvili to an alternative medical facility, where his dignity, life, health and safety will be protected.
 
[3] Premininy v. Russia, 2011
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