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Georgia's Jailed Ex-Premier Starts Hunger Strike


Vano Merabishvili in court in Kutaisi on May 22

Vano Merabishvili in court in Kutaisi on May 22

Former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili has started a hunger strike in pretrial detention.

Merabishvili’s lawyer, Giorgi Chiviashvili, told journalists that his client is demanding a television set in his cell and that his credit and debit cards be unblocked so that his family can use them.

Merabishvili, who is secretary-general of President Mihkeil Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM) party, was arrested last month and charged with abuse of power, embezzlement, and bribing of voters.

Merabishvili insists the charges are politically motivated.

Earlier this month, a member of a European Parliament delegation, Krzysztof Lisek, visited Merabishvili in the detention center where he is being held and urged Georgian authorities to provide Merabishvili with a television set and a possibility to see his family members on a regular basis.

Based on reporting by apsny.ge and Interfax
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