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Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus convicted in Bangladesh labour law case | Courts News

The microfinance pioneer is accused by PM Sheikh Hasina of ‘sucking blood’ from the poor, however supporters say costs politically motivated.

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has been convicted of violating Bangladesh’s labour legal guidelines in a case decried by his supporters as politically motivated.

“Professor Yunus and three of his Grameen Telecom colleagues had been convicted underneath labour legal guidelines and sentenced to 6 months in easy imprisonment,” lead prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan advised the AFP information company on Monday.

He added that each one 4 had been instantly granted bail pending appeals.

Yunus, 83, is credited with lifting hundreds of thousands out of poverty along with his pioneering microfinance financial institution however has earned the enmity of longtime Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has accused him of “sucking blood” from the poor.

Hasina has made a number of scathing verbal assaults towards the internationally revered 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was as soon as seen as a political rival.

Yunus and three colleagues from Grameen Telecom, one of many corporations he based, had been accused of violating labour legal guidelines once they did not create a employees’ welfare fund within the firm.

All 4 deny the costs.

“This verdict is unprecedented,” Abdullah Al Mamun, a lawyer for Yunus, advised AFP. “We didn’t get justice.”

Yunus is dealing with greater than 100 different costs over labour legislation violations and alleged corruption.

He advised reporters after one of many hearings final month that he had not profited from any of the greater than 50 social enterprise corporations he had arrange in Bangladesh.

“They weren’t for my private profit,” Yunus stated.

One other of his legal professionals, Khaja Tanvir, advised AFP that the case was “meritless, false and ill-motivated”.

“The only intention of the case is to harass and humiliate him in entrance of the world,” he stated.

‘Travesty of justice’

Irene Khan, former chief of Amnesty Worldwide now working as a United Nations particular rapporteur who was current at Monday’s verdict, advised AFP the conviction was “a travesty of justice”.

“A social activist and Nobel laureate who introduced honour and pleasure to the nation is being persecuted on frivolous grounds,” she stated.

In August, 160 international figures, together with former US President Barack Obama and ex-UN Secretary-Normal Ban Ki-moon, published a joint letter denouncing the “steady judicial harassment” of Yunus.

The signatories, together with greater than 100 of his fellow Nobel laureates, stated they feared for “his security and freedom”.

Critics accuse Bangladeshi courts of rubber-stamping selections made by Hasina’s authorities, which is all however sure to win one other time period in energy subsequent week at elections boycotted by the opposition.

Her administration has been more and more agency in its crackdown on political dissent, and Yunus’s recognition among the many Bangladeshi public has for years earmarked him as a possible rival.

Amnesty accused the federal government of “weaponising labour legal guidelines” when Yunus went to trial in September and referred to as for an instantaneous finish to his “harassment”.

Prison proceedings towards Yunus had been “a type of political retaliation for his work and dissent”, it stated.

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