On April 15, 2005, Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutierrez declared a state of emergency in the capital Quito and dissolved the Ecuador Supreme Court. The measures announced in a national television address came after three days of protests in the streets of Quito, which Gutierrez blamed on unpopular Supreme Court judges. Rather than quell the protests, the declaration caused thousands of people to rally against Gutierrez and against the state of emergency which suspended the rights to free expression and freedom of assembly. It was the second time in four months that the Ecuadorian Supreme Court has been dissolved, with the first being because Gutierrez declared that the court was biased against him.
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