Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Washington D.C., September 13, 2011
Police in North Africa and the Middle East have a troubling history of human rights abuse and corruption, and their inner workings are opaque. But in 2008, one Arab government granted a Western journalist unprecedented access to its security services, and the outcome of his reporting offers gritty insights into the changes now underway throughout the Arab world.
Journalist Joseph Braude, a fluent Arabic speaker of Iraqi Jewish descent, was embedded for four months in Casablanca with the Moroccan “Judiciary Police”– a plainclothes investigative unit roughly akin to the FBI.
He was permitted to witness night raids into a vast shantytown, oversee interrogations and investigative procedure, and review sensitive case files. One particular file on a recent homicide picked his curiosity. The victim was a shadowy Berber migrant with links to a radical cleric. The killer was an Arab soldier in a new urban unit of the Moroccan army. The crime scene was a warehouse owned by a wealthy member of the Moroccan Jewish community, the last Jewish community of any size in the Arab world. Braude befriended the victim’s family and friends, who believed that police were concealing details about the crime from the public and from him. Outside the precinct walls, he collaborated with the victim’s best friend to launch an independent investigation into the affair. His experience is narrated in The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World (Random House – Spiegel & Grau, 2011). The Washington Post has called the book “an ingenious, moving, respectful, and ultimately honest book about Morocco and its people.”
The event is hosted by the Washington Moroccan American Club and will take place at the National Press Building, in Washington D.C. on September 15, 2011 from 12 to 2pm.