Bangladesh

Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus convicted in Bangladesh labor law case

Reuters

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Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus convicted in Bangladesh labor law case

MUHAMMAD YUNUS. Bangladeshi Nobel peace laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus gestures in front of the court after being sentenced for six months of imprisonment and fined BDT 5,000 in a labor law violation case, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 1, 2024.

Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters

Muhammad Yunus' supporters say the government is attempting to discredit him because he once considered setting up a political party to rival the prime minister's Awami League

DHAKA, Bangladesh – A court in Bangladesh on Monday, January 1, sentenced Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to six months’ imprisonment for labor law violations, prosecutors said, a case his supporters have claimed is politically motivated.

Yunus, 83, and his Grameen Bank won the 2006 peace prize for their work to lift millions out of poverty by granting tiny loans of under $100 to the rural poor of Bangladesh, pioneering a global movement now known as microcredit.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, however, accused him of “sucking blood from the poor.” His supporters say the government is attempting to discredit him because he once considered setting up a political party to rival Hasina’s Awami League.

Yunus and three employees from Grameen Telecom, a company he founded, were convicted on Monday of violating labor laws. Responding to petitions submitted by the convicts, the court however granted them bail pending a possible appeal.

“The court granted their bail, giving them one month to file an appeal against the verdict of the court,” prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan said.

Khaja Tanvir, one of Yunus’ lawyers, said the case is politically motivated and targeted at harassing Yunus.

Human rights groups have accused the government of Hasina, who is seeking her fourth consecutive term of five in an election on January 7, of targeting political dissent. – Rappler.com

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