Jewish Maghrib Jukebox

Friday, November 19, 2010

Abraham Serfaty, Jewish Moroccan Democracy Activist and Communist, Dies at Age 84

Funeral at Casablanca Jewish cemetery of Abraham Serfaty

Abraham Serfaty, another influential Jewish Moroccan, died this week. Again very little English language press. Of course as this generation of Moroccan Jews moves on, we lose more and more information about how the Jewish communities of Morocco once were. I can't stress enough of how time is of the essence in capturing stories and memories.

From AFP:

Moroccan democracy activist Abraham Serfaty dies aged 84

RABAT — Leading Moroccan rights activist Abraham Serfaty died Thursday aged 84 after a lifelong campaign for democracy, first against the French colonial rulers and then King Hassan II's absolute monarchy.

Serfaty died in a clinic in the southern city of Marrakech, his wife Christine-Daure Serfaty said.

"Serfaty was an activist who dedicated his life first to the anti-colonial struggle and then against the anti-democratic regime of King Hassan II," Moroccan Human Rights Association vice president Amine Abdelhamid told AFP.

A long-time member of the communist party, Serfaty was first jailed by the Moroccan regime in 1972, when he accused the authorities of torturing him.

In 1977 he was sentenced to life in prison for plotting against state security but he was freed in 1991 after an international campaign.

He was immediately expelled to France where he became well known in political circles before he was allowed to return to Morocco in 2000.

Serfaty is due to be buried on Friday in the Jewish cemetery in Casablanca, next to the graves of his parents.

UPDATE: Amazing photos of the funeral here. More coverage coming in.

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