The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is just beginning to be felt in Algeria. Earlier this month, the government announced that the national budget would be slashed in half due to the global collapse of oil prices. Simultaneously, the much-discredited government is cynically manoeuvring to bury the popular Hirak movement under the cover of this healthcare crisis. But this coronavirus has brought to the fore the contradictions of a bureaucratically-ruled country, corrupted to the core by ‘le pouvoir’. These repressive measures cannot be allowed to asphyxiate the militant mood for change that has once again gripped the country.

The Moroccan regime has detained over 500 political prisoners, according to the president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, Aziz Ghali. Amongst them are those imprisoned in the Hirak Rif protests and the Gerak Jaradah movement: trade unionists, bloggers, a journalist… pretty much everybody. Not a day goes by without social media reporting the arrest of new militants or ordinary citizens whose only crime, in the majority of cases, is having published a Facebook post critical of living conditions or of the state’s politics.

Kano has become the epicentre of the spread of Covid-19 in northern Nigeria. A large number of so-called “mysterious” deaths was recently reported, but the state government of Kano blatantly claims that the sharp rise in deaths is not due to Covid-19. Here we provide an eyewitness account from an IMT comrade in Kano.

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