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IBAHRI Denounces Conviction of Muhammad Yunus: Alleged Labour Law Violations Spark Global Outcry

IBAHRI Denounces Conviction of Muhammad Yunus: Alleged Labour Law Violations Spark Global Outcry


Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel laureate facing prison over labour law violations, triggers international condemnation

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has raised concerns over the recent conviction of Muhammad Yunus, renowned for his groundbreaking efforts in poverty alleviation through microcredit, for alleged labour law violations. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, along with three others, vehemently denies the allegations that led to a six-month prison sentence.

Mr Yunus, acclaimed globally for pioneering the 'microcredit' movement, catapulted millions of Bangladesh's rural poor out of poverty. However, recent legal turmoil has engulfed him with over 100 charges of labour law breaches and alleged corruption, a move perceived by supporters as a targeted campaign orchestrated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's administration against the microfinance luminary.

Irene Khan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, condemned the conviction as ‘a travesty of justice,’ highlighting that Mr Yunus, a revered social activist and Nobel laureate, is facing persecution on what she deems 'frivolous grounds.'

Earlier in August, IBAHRI Director Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, joined by a coalition of 160 influential figures, including former US President Barack Obama and ex-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, penned a collective letter rebuking the 'continuous judicial harassment' faced by Mr Yunus.

In response to the verdict, Mr Yunus expressed profound disappointment, labeling the outcome ‘contrary to all legal precedent and logic.’ Despite the setback, he pledged to persist in serving the people of Bangladesh and advancing the social business movement with unwavering commitment. He called upon Bangladeshi citizens to unite against injustice and advocate for democracy and human rights.

The IBAHRI, eagerly anticipating the appeal's outcome, remains steadfast in its support for Yunus and his co-accused, emphasizing the importance of due process and fair judicial proceedings.

The unfolding events surrounding Muhammad Yunus have not only ignited an international outcry but also underscore the imperative for upholding human rights and fair treatment within the realm of law and justice. As the global community awaits the appeal, voices worldwide echo the demand for justice and the safeguarding of fundamental rights for all individuals.