Covid-19 has not (yet) hit North Africa as violently as it did in the case of Europe and the United States. In spite of the limited numbers, national governments and local authorities in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia have adopted strict measures that are already having significant consequences on civil and human rights. Human and civil rights activists and organizations are warning of a harshening authoritarianism that could rapidly reverse the democratic developments seen in some of these countries in recent years. Furthermore, the pandemic economic consequences will be devastating for the already cash-strapped North African countries, posing a major threat to the fragile social contracts between the state and society.
This virtual expert briefing will address: the governments’ restrictive measures and their impact on civil and human rights; the (further) deterioration of the relations between states and societies in the North African countries; the impact of these measures on social cohesion and marginalization; the role that moral suasion or rather Islam might have to contain the virus and its political consequences.
Amna Guellali, Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director
Younes Abouyoub, Director, Governance and State-Building Division for the MENA Region, United Nations
Francesca Caruso, Junior Researcher, Istituto Affari Internazionali