A judge in Peru has granted a request to extend former President Pedro Castillo’s imprisonment for 18 months

as the authorities make their case against him on accusations of “rebellion” and “conspiracy” in a decision expected to further inflame political turmoil and protests

that have roiled the South American nation since Castillo’s impeachment and detention last week. Pedro Castillo’s arrest on charges of ‘rebellion’ and ‘conspiracy’ has fuelled a political crisis.

Protesters have demanded the embattled leader’s release from prison, as well as new elections and the removal of his successor, former Vice President Dina Boluarte.

Boluarte’s administration declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday, suspending freedom of movement and assembly in a bid to quell the unrest,

In Thursday’s ruling, a judicial panel within the Supreme Court ruled that Castillo, initially jailed for seven days, will remain behind bars as prosecutors continue their investigation

The decision did not touch on the merits of the accusations faced by Castillo but a judge heading the panel cited the risk of flight by the former president.