European Parliament urges Georgia to pardon and release ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili
February 16, 2023

European Parliament urges Georgia to pardon and release ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili


On 15 February, the European Parliament expressed its grave concerns about the deteriorating health of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been detained in his home country since October 2021. 

While noting reports of his dramatic weight loss and suggestions that he might have suffered from heavy metal poisoning while in detention, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) call on the Georgian authorities to release Saakashvili and allow him to receive proper medical treatment abroad. They also urge current President Salome Zourabishvili to use her constitutional right to pardon him. This would also reduce the political polarisation in the country, say MEPs.

They added that the way prisoners, such as the ex-President, are treated in the country is a litmus test for the Georgian government’s commitment to European values and its declared European aspirations, including EU candidate status, which has so far not been granted to Georgia.

Moreover, the resolution, adopted with 577 votes in favour, underlines the fundamental role that oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili has played in Saakashvili’s ongoing detention “as part of a personal vendetta”.

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