A court in Bangladesh has sentenced Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus to six months in prison for breaking labor regulations.

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus to six months in prison for breaking labor regulations.

13 people to death for their roles in a

On Monday, a court in Bangladesh’s capital handed down death sentences to 13 individuals for their involvement in a labor-related case.

Muhammad Yunus, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sentenced to a six-month imprisonment for breaking the labor laws of the nation.

Yunus, a pioneer in utilizing microcredit to assist those in poverty, was in attendance at court and was released on bail. The court allotted Yunus 30 days to contest the decision and penalty.

The case revolves around Grameen Telecom, a non-profit organization founded by Yunus.

According to Sheikh Merina Sultana, the presiding judge of the Third Labor Court in Dhaka, Yunus’ company has been found to be in violation of labor laws in Bangladesh. The court found that at least 67 employees of Grameen Telecom were entitled to permanent employment but were not granted it. Additionally, a “welfare fund” that was meant to assist employees in times of emergency or special needs was never established. Furthermore, the court determined that, despite company policy dictating that 5% of Grameen’s dividends should be shared with staff, this did not occur.

Sultana convicted Yunus, the company’s chairman, and three other directors, sentencing them all to six months of imprisonment. Additionally, Yunus was ordered to pay a fine of 30,000 takas, equivalent to $260.

Yunus stated that he planned to file an appeal.

“We are facing punishment for a wrongdoing that we are innocent of. It was not just my fate, but the fate of our nation as well. While we have accepted this decision, we will be appealing it and persist in our fight against this ruling,” stated the 83-year-old economist to reporters following the announcement of the verdict.

Attorney Abdullah Al Mamun expressed disappointment with the ruling, stating that it was unjust and in violation of the law. He also added that they felt denied of justice.

Nobel Peace Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus Arrive At Labour Court In Dhaka

On January 1, 2024, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Professor Muhammad Yunus is making a hand gesture while standing in front of the court, after receiving a six-month prison sentence.

Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via Getty Images

However, the prosecution was satisfied with the verdict they deemed to be anticipated.

According to prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan, business owners are likely to be more careful about breaking labor laws. The law applies to everyone, regardless of their status or position.

Grameen Telecom holds a 34.2% stake in the largest mobile phone company in the country, Grameenphone, which is a subsidiary of Telenor, a telecommunications company from Norway.

Due to Yunus’ strong ties with influential politicians in the Western world, particularly in the United States, there is concern that the decision could have a detrimental effect on Bangladesh’s diplomatic ties with the U.S.

However, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen stated on Monday that the relationship between Bangladesh and the United States is unlikely to be impacted by a matter concerning one individual.

Momen stated to the United News of Bangladesh agency that it is expected for individuals to not have an influence on state-to-state relations.

The recipient of the Nobel Prize is being accused of multiple charges related to supposed corrupt practices and misappropriation of funds.

Yunus’ followers claim that he is facing harassment due to strained relations with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The government of Bangladesh has refuted these accusations.

On Monday, there was a ruling while Bangladesh is getting ready for their upcoming election on January 7th. However, the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, has decided to boycott the election. They do not trust that the current administration, led by Hasina, will conduct a fair and unbiased election.

In August, a group of over 170 influential leaders and Nobel Prize winners wrote an open letter asking Hasina to halt any ongoing legal actions against Yunus.

The group of leaders, which includes past U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and over 100 Nobel Prize winners, expressed their worries about recent challenges to democracy and human rights in Bangladesh in a letter.

Hasina firmly stated that she would be open to having international experts and lawyers visit Bangladesh to evaluate the legal proceedings and review the documents regarding the accusations against Yunus.

Yunus established Grameen Bank in 1983, offering small loans to entrepreneurs who would typically not meet the requirements for traditional bank loans. The bank’s effectiveness in alleviating poverty inspired the development of similar microfinance initiatives in various nations.

After assuming power in 2008, Hasina’s government initiated a number of inquiries into Yunus. She was angered by his declaration in 2007 to establish a political party during her imprisonment under a military-backed regime, even though he ultimately did not carry out the proposal.

Previously, Yunus publicly expressed his disapproval of politicians in the nation, stating that their primary motivation is money. In response, Hasina referred to him as a “bloodsucker” and accused him of utilizing force and other methods to collect loans from impoverished women in rural areas during his time as the leader of Grameen Bank.

In 2011, the activities of the bank were reviewed by Hasina’s administration. Yunus was removed from his position as managing director due to accusations of breaking government retirement laws. He faced trial in 2013 for supposedly accepting funds without government authorization, including his Nobel Prize winnings and book royalties.

Source: cbsnews.com