Socialist leaders protest raiding mass graves from 1986 [Archives:2007/1024/Front Page]

February 12 2007

ADEN, Feb. 11 ) Dozens of people affiliated with the Yemeni Socialist Party staged a sit-in in front of Tariq Military Camp on Saturday in Aden's Khor Maksar district to protest the raiding of mass graves from events occurring Jan. 13, 1986.

In a statement, demonstrators said the sit-in is to show solidarity with the families of victims whose tombs were unearthed at Tariq Military Camp where the bodies of Jan. 13, 1986 victims were buried. They also hinted that the sit-in will continue until their demands are met, declaring that they'll sue the authorities if they don't respond to their demands.

Brandishing slogans denouncing the excavations, the demonstrators further demanded concerned authorities halt the digging and construction operations, rebuild the cemetery wall and present those responsible to the judiciary.

Socialist Party affiliates in Aden, Lahj, Abyan and Al-Dhale' on Saturday affirmed their intention to implement a joint sit-in in front of Khor Maksar's Al-Shuhadaa' Cemetery in solidarity with the Jan. 13 victims' families.

Located within Tariq Military Camp, the cemetery contains a monument to those victims who fell during the Jan. 13, 1986 conflict involving warring leaderships within the Socialist Party.

The demonstrations came after authorities in Aden governorate began excavating in Tariq Military Camp, which is to become a public park.

In a statement to, Aden Deputy Governor Abdulkarim Shaif denied the Socialist Party allegations regarding unearthing the mass graves.

He noted that while excavating in the camp, the contractor discovered some corpses near the wall and reburied them in the cemetery, but did not raid other tombs as alleged.

Shaif further indicated that local authorities previously met with Socialist Party leaders, informing them that the cemetery will remain as it is. Local authorities also will erect a wall around the cemetery, remove communist symbols from the monument and replace them with Qur'anic verses.