Algerian authorities have detained a Moroccan citizen, accusing him of spying for his country, the online publication Opinion Today said on Friday.
The detention has sparked a wave of ironic criticism in the Moroccan media as it comes at a time of difficult relations between both countries. There is history of tension between Morocco and Algeria, primarily because for decades Algeria has supported the Polisario, the movement working to end the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.
The Algerian newspaper Al-Khabar, which published information about the detention two days earlier, reported that the Moroccan citizen was suspected because he was carrying forged Algerian and Moroccan ID. Al-Khabar also said that he was caught recording marches in Algeria.
Opinion Today said that Algerian newspapers applauded the detention and some Algerian social media pages called for “comeuppance.” In the meantime, according to Opinion Today, the Moroccan media connected the detention to the current tension between the two countries.
Moroccan media speculated as to how he could be considered a spy for simply carrying forged IDs and recordings of demonstrations that had already been uploaded onto social media. Moroccan media said that the worst he was trying to do was enter Algeria illegally.
The media ruled out that a spy would carry suspicious materials and pass through an airport with the strict detention measures imposed on Moroccans by the Algerian authorities.
The two countries have been experiencing difficult relations for several days as Algeria is angry with Morocco over the latter’s position regarding the Sahara dispute, as well as the fact the Algerian flag was brought down from the Moroccan Consulate in Casablanca.