Saakashvili calls on the US to impose sanctions against the Georgian authorities | News from Germany on world events | Dw

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Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in a large letter published by Politico on Saturday, November 20, announced the departure of the authorities in Tbilisi from universally recognized democratic values, explained the reasons for his return to the country and called on the administration of President Biden to contribute to support “a young democracy that is in grave danger. “

According to the politician, having come to power, the Georgian Dream party “consolidated control over the judicial system and many state and non-state media, allowed corruption to skyrocket, manipulated elections and pushed the country towards rapprochement with Putin’s Russia.” “The government has de facto suspended any practical efforts to move towards NATO membership, which the Georgian people have repeatedly expressed their approval of. Instead, Georgia is flirting with a platform of” regional cooperation “with Iran and Russia, inspired by the idea of ​​eradicating Western influence in a strategically important region South Caucasus, “Saakashvili believes.

He recalled that it was partly thanks to his course of democratization that his party “lost free and fair elections in 2012” and peacefully ceded power to the “Georgian Dream.” The accusations in absentia brought against him by the new Georgian authorities, Sakashvili called political. The politician considers them “an alarming example of the party’s attempt to silence the opposition.” “This is why I returned to Georgia this fall after several years away from the country, knowing I was likely to go to jail. I hoped to draw attention to the alarming state of affairs, which has caused thousands of Georgians to protest in the streets since last month’s elections. “, – the ex-president explained.

How the US can help

Saakashvili recalled that the Biden administration has repeatedly stressed the importance of strengthening and protecting democratic values, including the rule of law and freedom of speech. “The Georgian people need active support for their democratic and pro-Western aspirations against the threat of authoritarianism,” he said.

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First of all, the United States, according to Saakashvili, should openly condemn the Georgian authorities for their attempts to undermine democracy. The Congress, the politician writes, should consider the issue “of imposing sanctions against violators of human rights in Georgia in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Law.” In this regard, he recalled that on November 19, 23 European parliamentarians called on the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the EU leadership to consider imposing sanctions against those who committed inhuman and offensive treatment of the former president of Georgia.

Saakashvili also believes the Biden administration should withdraw its invitation to the Georgian government to participate in the December Summit for Democracy, as it sends “the wrong message and risks legitimizing the anti-democratic methods of the Georgian Dream.”

“In the face of an alarming erosion of freedom and growing Russian influence, I hope and confident that the Biden administration will clarify its position,” Saakashvili concludes the letter.

Starved for 50 days

Saakashvili secretly arrived in Georgia on September 29th. On October 1, he was detained in Tbilisi, after which he was placed in a prison in Rustavi, where he went on a hunger strike. On November 8, the ex-president was transferred from prison to a prison hospital in Tbilisi without the consent of his relatives and lawyers. On November 20, Saakashvili was transferred to a military hospital in Gori, where, according to official information, he began to eat again.

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