US closely following case against Prof Yunus

3 months ago 63

The US is closely following the case against Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof Muhammad Yunus and noted the international condemnations after he was convicted by a court.

A spokesperson for the US State Department noted Yunus's Nobel prize and other honours and said he made a significant contribution to fighting world poverty.

The official, however, stopped short of criticising Monday's ruling by the court that found Yunus, 83, guilty of violating labour laws.

Yunus is credited with lifting millions out of poverty with his pioneering microfinance bank, Grameen Bank.

"We have encouraged the Bangladeshi government to ensure a fair and transparent legal process, and will continue to follow any further developments closely," the spokesperson added.

AFP did not reveal the name of the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Kerry Kennedy, president of US-based Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, called for immediate reversal of the "unjust conviction" handed to Yunus.

"My full solidarity with my dear friend, Nobel laureate and social justice champion Prof Muhammad Yunus. The baseless conviction handed against him in #Bangladesh for alleged labour violations is yet another example of the government's vendetta against its critics," she said in X (formerly Twitter) yesterday.

"The unjust conviction must be immediately reversed."

Irene Khan, a UN special rapporteur who was at the court on Monday, told AFP that the conviction was "a travesty of justice".

"A social activist and Nobel laureate who brought honour and pride to the country is being persecuted on frivolous grounds," she said.

Yunus and three other top officials of Grameen Telecom were sentenced to six months' imprisonment in a labour law violation case.

The four have denied the charges and were granted bail pending appeals.

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