quarta-feira, 7 de março de 2007
East Timor's soft laws
LISBON (AFP) -
East Timor's soft laws are making it difficult to quell unrest in the country, its Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta said on Tuesday in an interview broadcast on Portuguese radio.
"The problem is our laws, imposed by western advisors without taking into account the reality of East Timor, which require that anyone detained by police who hasn't been tried within three days be released," he told Radio Renascenca.
"Police carry out an operation, detain dozens of protesters and what do the courts do? Free them. The same people, who have been detained several times, know they will only be in jail for 72 hours," he added.
East Timor has been wracked by violent protests over an unsuccessful raid by Australian-led peacekeeping forces on the mountain base of renegade army Major Alfredo Reinado on Saturday in which four people were killed.
Hundreds of supporters of Reinado, who was implicated in violence last year that left 37 people dead and caused 150,000 to flee, on Monday hurled stones, burnt tyres and blocked streets in Dili, the capital of East Timor.
The protesters, mostly youths, chanted support for Reinado but Ramos-Horta said they did not know the rebel leader and were only backing his cause as an excuse to cause trouble.
Last month Ramos-Horta, 57, announced he would run for president in an election scheduled for April 9.
He became prime minister in July 2006 after Mari Alkatiri resigned amid allegations that he sparked unrest between civilian groups and security forces.
East Timor voted in a 1999 referendum for independence from Indonesia which had annexed it after Portugal ended centuries of colonial rule in 1975.
The country became fully independent in 2002 after a period of
United Nations administration.