East Timor extends state of emergency for 1 month after assassination attempts

[JURIST] The National Parliament of East Timor voted Friday to further extend the country's state of emergency [AP report], which was set to expire Saturday, by an additional 30 days. Last week, the parliament extended the state of emergency [JURIST report] in response to attacks against East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao [BBC profiles]. East Timor's attorney general said last week that 12 arrest warrants have been issued [JURIST report] for suspects in the attacks, and that the government was preparing warrants for an additional 5 suspects. Horta was critically wounded and rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attacks. Reinado has led previous revolts against the government and drew wide support from some members of the ruling coalition. The state of emergency was imposed to restore peace following the assassination attempts and to quell any future violence feared after the death of Reinado. AP has more.

Gusmao was the first named president of East Timor [JURIST news archive] following a 1999 UN-sponsored referendum in which the country voted for independence from Indonesia. He was appointed Prime Minister by Horta in 2007. In 2006, East Timor descended into violence and a state of emergency rule when former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri [BBC profile] dismissed 600 striking members of the armed forces, causing riots [BBC report] in April and continued violence throughout May [JURIST report] which left 37 dead. Alkatiri resigned in June 2006 and an independent United Nations commission later recommended criminal investigations [JURIST report] into Alkatiri and other government officials for their role in the violence.

 

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