26.09.2023 Morocco

Online Campaign in Morocco Calls for Imposing Visas restrictions on French Nationals

Online campaign calls on the government to impose visa restrictions on French nationals amid a historic low point in bilateral relations.
By Morocco World News
Online Campaign in Morocco Calls for Imposing Visas restrictions on French Nationals
26.09.2023 LISTEN

Rabat - An online campaign on X, formerly known as Twitter, calling for imposing visas on French nationals is gaining momentum.

The hashtag #طبقوا_الفيزا_علي_فرنسا (imposes visa on France) is going viral with over 1,100 shares since yesterday.

“Imposing visa is a sovereignty right,” one Moroccan netizen wrote.

“Impose visa restrictions on France and get rid of all what its left of its colonialism, we should also get rid of their language,” another wrote.

The online campaign was triggered by widespread public anger towards France after two French journalists publicly bashed Morocco.

The two journalists were reportedly apprehended by undercover law enforcement officers early on Wednesday at 3 AM.

Quentin Muller holds the position of deputy editor-in-chief at the French weekly news magazine Marianne, while Therese Di Campo serves as a photojournalist.

Both journalists turned to X, accusing Moroccan authorities of engaging in what they deemed as “repressive” actions. They claimed that they were forcefully expelled from the country with no given explanation.

Muller asserted that these arrests were driven purely by political motives, accompanied by the hashtag #Journalismisnotacrime in her tweet.

In response, the government spokesperson Mustapha Baitas pointed out that over 310 foreign journalists, representing approximately 90 international media outlets, had covered the central Morocco earthquake that occurred on September 8.

He emphasized that these journalists conducted their work openly and without any hindrances, engaging freely with both citizens and those affected by the earthquake.

To counter Muller’s claim that the expulsion was politically motivated, Baitas disclosed that out of the 310 foreign journalists who covered the earthquake, 78 were correspondents representing 16 different French media organizations, comprising roughly a quarter of the total.

He noted that 13 of them were officially accredited for earthquake coverage, with three holding permanent accreditation.

While this seems to be the direct cause behind the online campaign, in recent weeks, public resentment in Morocco for France has been rapidly growing in recent weeks.

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco on September 8, French media seized the opportunity to bash Morocco and its leadership, with a series of offensive articles and media coverage that politicized the tragic catastrophe.

In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron shared a video of himself directly addressing the Moroccan people, a move that caused widespread backlash in the North African country.

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