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15 Mar, 2008 02:27

Georgian hunger strike enters 6th day

A hunger strike is entering its sixth day for some of the 70 government protesters camped out Georgia’s parliament in the capital Tbilisi. They’ve ruled out more talks with the government and are demanding a re-count of the recent Presidential vote, as we

Bidzina Gujabidze is a 52-year-old MP from the opposition conservative party. Though he suffered a heart attack a few years ago, he says he is not afraid of the risk he is taking by going on hunger strike.

“There is nothing that will make me stop the hunger strike. It doesn't matter how ill or weak I feel. Let everyone know that the government here are killers and cannibals!” Gudzhabidze said.

The health of the hunger strikers is beginning to deteriorate. The lack of food, coupled with the exhaustion of being camped on a busy thoroughfare caused six hunger strikers to be temporarily hospitalised.

“The hunger strike should be stopped because the level of acetone in the strikers' urine is increasing to a critical level – which could be poisonous,” Doctor Ketevan Gedzhadze said following his examination of the strikers.

The Georgian authorities say they are still willing to resume dialogue, but have condemned the hunger strike.

“We are ready to continue dialogue. I call on my colleagues in the opposition to stop their hunger strike and start negotiations. The door for dialogue is open!” speaker of the Parliament Nino Burdzhanadze said.