Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus convicted in Bangladesh labor law case

Social entrepreneur convicted in case his supporters say is politically motivated

Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, economist, Nobel laureate and civil society leader Muhammad Yunus arrives on the red carpet for the German Postal Lottery charity gala under the theme ‘Defend human rights’ in Dusseldorf, Germany, on 24 May 2023. – Reuters

Renowned Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, 83, has been sentenced to six months in prison for alleged violations of labor laws in Bangladesh, according to prosecutors.

Yunus, along with three Grameen Telecom employees, was convicted on Monday in a case his supporters say is politically motivated.

Known for his innovative work with the Grameen Bank, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, Yunus and his institution have been instrumental in alleviating poverty through microcredit.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina previously accused Yunus of “sucking blood from the poor”, while his supporters claim the charges are intended to discredit him due to his previous consideration of establishing a political party to rival Hasina’s Awami League. .

Despite the conviction, the court granted bail to Yunus and his co-defendants, giving them one month to file an appeal against the verdict.

Khaja Tanvir, one of Yunus’ lawyers, called the case politically motivated harassment, echoing concerns raised by human rights groups about the government’s alleged targeting of political dissent as the country approaches crucial elections in the January 7th.

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