This 20 September 2013 video is called Torture Tape Rage: Thousands protest Georgian prison horror.
Eventually, Saakashvili lost not only his job as dictator, but also his Georgian passport.
It was not a total downfall. In Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, Panama Papers billionaire because of chocolate and military production corporations, had become president after the violent expulsion of his predecessor. Poroshenko gave Saakashvili a new, Ukrainian, passport. More still: he gave Saakashvili the governorship of Odessa province.
However, not so much later, Saakashvili and Poroshenko quarreled. Poroshenko canceled Saakashvili’s governorship and his Ukrainian passport.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Saakashvili explores moving to the Netherlands
The Georgian former president Mikhail Saakashvili may come to the Netherlands to be with his wife Sandra Roelofs. He is now in Ukraine, where he is at odds with the authorities.
Saakashvili’s lawyer has requested that the stateless Georgian be brought to the Netherlands on the basis of family reunification. According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Saakashvili is eligible because he is married to a Dutch woman with whom he has two sons.
Saakashvili can not return to Georgia and has a quarrel in Ukraine with his former ally, President Poroshenko. He was governor of Odessa in Ukraine. … Poroshenko finally tried to have his old friend arrested, but Saakashili managed to escape from a police van with the help of his supporters.
Will the Dutch government now welcome Saakashvili as a political refugee; maybe even give him a third, Dutch, passport? Possible, as Saakashvili was a ‘pro-Western’ dictator; who, eg, like the Dutch government, sent soldiers to Iraq and to Afghanistan to help George W Bush in his wars.
However, if one looks at hardline anti-refugee policies in the European Union, including the Netherlands, then Saakashvili has reasons to be not so optimistic. According to governments like the Dutch government, even war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan are supposedly ‘safe’ countries to forcibly return refugees to. Say, a poor unemployed Ukrainian worker, fleeing to the Netherlands because he is scared of neofascist paramilitary gangs which not only steal paintings from Dutch and from Italian museums, but also kill fellow Ukrainians in Ukraine, will probably get to hear from Dutch authorities: ‘War in Ukraine? That is only in the east. Ukraine is a safe country and a friendly country to us. We will deport you’.
Family reunification for refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. is also hard in the Netherlands.
Still, Saakashvili’s status as a former pro-NATO dictator may earn him privileged treatment from Dutch authorities compared to that hypothetical Ukrainian poor worker refugee, or these Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan etc. refugees.
Dutch corporate media are usually very uncritical on Saakashvili, in which a factor is that his wife is Dutch.
It is not self-evident that Saakashvili’s Dutch wife will really welcome him. As in 2013, as quoted in an earlier post on this blog, she sounded rather critical:
Roelofs herself has remained in Georgia and let the newspaper know that she feels more like being married to the country than being married to her husband. She also criticized the political actions of her husband. He had too much haste and then “you will make mistakes and you will make enemies.” She says that Saakashvili refused to listen when she mentioned criticism she had heard on her travels through the country.
VAGABOND former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was deported from Ukraine to Poland today after armed men wearing masks nabbed him in a Kiev restaurant and drove him to the airport: here.