The protest movement of Jawaharlal Nehru University students against indiscriminate fee hikes and reactionary discipline policies for hostels have entered a new stage. The university administration has astronomically increased the fees by 999 percent, meaning hostel room rent has increased from INR10 ($0.14) to INR600 ($8.35). In addition to this, there are newly implemented service charges of INR1700 ($23.67), and the mess fee has increased from INR5000 ($69.61) to INR12000 ($167.07).

A powerful movement of health workers is going on against privatisation in Pakistan. The government is snatching the basic right of healthcare from the working class in a country where already more than 80 percent of the population has no access to basic health provision. Rather than building new public hospitals and spending more on health services, the government has planned to close the health department altogether and hand it over to the private sector.

The new labour minister, Rolando Castro – a former unionist – has started a crusade against the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security Workers’ Union STISSS. Using the state apparatus and with “legal” manoeuvres, he has organised a coup d'etat against the union's leadership. The leadership that was elected in a general assembly in 2018 has been dismissed and expelled from the organisation. Based on an “assembly” that never took place, and with the backing of “legal” accreditations from the Ministry of Labour, a gang of puppets commanded by Ricardo Monge (an old trade union bureaucrat) has arbitrarily taken control of the union's leadership.

The military has entered the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) to brutally repress students who protested against the illegitimate government of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH). At least eight students have been injured. This attack comes a few days after a group of US Marines entered the Central American country, evidencing the support of US imperialism for this coup government. The authorities of the university, similarly, have been accomplices of the coup government, but the repression has taken shape in such a brutal way that even the University Council has had to condemn it.

We have now reached and exceeded the $1,300 target of our campaign to raise money for the El Salvadoran comrades. In total, we raised $2,700. This, together with the fundraising effort the comrades have made themselves, will mean that they will be able to purchase the duplicator they need. It will be an important step forward for the work of spreading Marxism in El Salvador in the coming years.

Algerian Workers' Party (PT) President, Louisa Hanoune, was arrested by a military court charged with conspiracy against the state and military authorities. Louisa appeared in court as a "witness" to a lawsuit concerning the former president's brother and, after giving her testimony, was jailed. The accusation of "conspiracy" or "rebellion" is fanciful, as millions of Algerians, every week, protest against the continuation of the military regime. In addition to Louisa, who has been imprisoned since 9 May, Hadj Ghermoud, a human rights activist, has also been in custody since January. Dozens of activists are being threatened and arrested in Algeria.

Three political activists who had fled Thailand for their safety have disappeared. Chucheep Chivasut, Siam Theerawut and Kritsana Thapthai were wanted for the crime of insulting the monarchy. In Thailand, under Article 112 of the country’s criminal code, anyone who is deemed to have committed this crime faces up to 15 years in prison.

Today (6 March), the judge of the Multan High Court granted bail to Rawal Asad after hearing his case. This has proved once again that the decisions of the lower courts were illegal and biased. It also clearly reveals that they were subject to external influence.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

Comrades and supporters from around the world are continuing to put pressure on the Pakistani state to release the Marxist student activist, Rawal Asad, who is still being held on the scandalous charge of sedition and has been denied bail. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in Pakistan, where comrades, students and workers are demanding that Rawal be immediately released.

A Marxist student comrade of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Rawal Asad, remains in jail on the charge of sedition, having had his bail hearing rejected. In addition to continued protest in Pakistan against this injustice, messages and photographs have been pouring in all week from all over the world demanding our comrade's release.