At its 2012 Congress, STUC condemned the sentencing on 24 March 2012 of six Zimbabwean activists – law lecturer, Munyaradzi Gwisai; anti-debt campaigner, Hopewell Gumbo; Zimbabwean Labour Centre Director, Tafadzwa Choto; student leader, Welcome Zimuto; and social activists, Edson Chakuma and Tatenda Mombeyarara, who were convicted for watching a video of the Arab Spring.
While the sentences did not involve prison terms, Congress deplored the violation of their basic human rights to free speech and to receive information about current affairs and the conviction for ‘conspiracy to commit public violence.
2012 Congress supported the demand of Public Services International, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, the International Trade Union Confederation, the European Trade Union Confederation, Education International and the European Trade Union Committee for Education, that the Turkish Government cease its ongoing campaign of harassment of Turkish trade unionists.
Congress instructed the General Council to continue to extend its support to Turkish trade unionists against police and state terror, and in their struggle for democracy, human rights and trade union freedoms.
Congress reaffirmed its call upon the Israeli Government to end the continued, illegal siege by air, land and sea of the Palestinian Territories and gave full support to the ‘Welcome to Palestine 2012’ initiative, which highlighted Israel’s oppressive and abhorrent policy of restricting free and unopposed movement to, from and within the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Congress also resolved to support the work of Addameer, Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, by distributing information and updates to affiliates and endorsed the Scottish demonstration, called by students in support of Palestinian political prisoners and the hunger strikers which took place in Edinburgh on Saturday 28 April. The following statement form STUC was read out at the rally at which STUC officers could not be present as 28th also marked Workers Memorial Day.
“STUC regrets that it is unable to send a representative to today's demonstration. Our officers are attending ceremonies across Scotland to mark Workers Memorial Day. But we cannot let this demonstration and rally go by without offering the solidarity of the Scottish Trade Union Movement. At our Congress last week we voted unanimously to
• campaign to expose the role of the Jewish National Fund in promulgating land seizure and discriminatory practice in Israel.
• support the participants in the Welcome to Palestine initiative
• support the Palestinian-Brazilian call for the World Social Forum-Free Palestine in Brazil in November
• support the Palestinian hunger strikers and the work of Addameer, the Palestinian prisoner support organisation.
We send our best wishes and support to the heroic men and women who are facing death because of their principled opposition to internment without charge. And we pledged our ongoing support to campaign with you, in Scotland to ensure that justice is done and to free Palestine”