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Doctor: Jailed Former Georgian President Saakashvili Needs Hospital Treatment

This screengrab shows former Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili escorted by police officers in Tbilisi on Oct. 1, 2021, following his arrest upon his return from exile. (Photo by Handout / Interior Ministry of Georgia / AFP)

Jailed former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on a hunger strike since October 1, needs to be hospitalized, as his condition is worsening, his doctor said Sunday in a television interview.

Saakashvili declared a hunger strike after he was arrested on October 1 and incarcerated in the city of Rustavi, hours after he announced he had returned to Georgia following an eight-year absence.

Saakashvili was convicted in absentia in 2018 for abuse of power during his presidency, charges he says were politically motivated.

He had lived in Ukraine in recent years, but last month announced plans to fly to Georgia for local elections held on October 2, despite facing prison. He said he wanted to help "save the country" amid a protracted political crisis.

Nikoloz Kipshidze, Saakashvili's doctor, said that he had been discussing his condition with doctors at the prison where he is being held, not far from the capital, Tbilisi.

"I spoke with them for half an hour about how to get through this night. I plan to visit him again tomorrow. We will probably need to transfer him to hospital," the doctor said on Georgian television.

There was no immediate comment from prison authorities.

This article includes information from Reuters.