Besides global fame, the reputation of Dr. Yunus in his native land is not healthy. Provenly, we can raise a question, why doesn’t a single ‘beneficiary” of the microcredit load come on the street in defense of honorable Dr. Yunus?
No wonder, the rude reality, he is not accepted by the youths as he has never stood beside people during any natural disaster or in any social movement, even against the anti-liberation political elements. His high-voltage opportunist standing never portrayed him as kind-hearted to many in his own country for sure.
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Play of his branding and Marketing office is highly vivid to manage ‘good boy certificates’ from international dignitaries and a very recent case has also surfaced. According to the PRNewswire released on 29th January, Some 242 global leaders including more than 125 Nobel Laureates expressed their alarm over the “continuous judicial harassment and potential jailing” of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus in a third open letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “We agree with Irene Khan,” the letter continued, “the United Nations special rapporteur for the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, who left the courtroom after the jail verdict was delivered and called it “a travesty of justice.”
Even his daughter Monica Yunus told before CNN that her father Dr. Yunus is clean! Interestingly, all these are not under the protocol of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but with the legal methods. What is the picture of the legal system? No wonder, he is known in the world as a noble person, but the reality is that he loved not to pay taxes under his country’s system and that was ridiculous. Consequently, this has brought him under trial for avoiding revenue pay and cheating labor from legal profit shares of his Grameen Telecom. The Dhaka Labor Court convicted Professor Yunus and along with three other Grameen Telecom high-profile management officials for labor law violation and sentenced them to simple imprisonment for six months.
Two Cases Spotlight
Let’s focus on these two cases. Firstly, after a long legal battle, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus had to pay Tk12.28 crore in taxes to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) of Bangladesh. The final verdict was made by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in July 2023. Though he didn’t wish to pay, he finally paid. It proves his unethical character vividly.
Secondly, what was the Grameen Telecom court case against them? The dissent picture shows that Dr. Yunus is a big personality to the external community, but he and a dozen others stand accused of misappropriating Rs 252.2 million from the Workers’ Profit Participation Fund of Grameen Telecom.
These cases followed the legal frame of the country, but some of his international friends, having little knowledge or naive knowledge about the legal aspects of Bangladesh, didn’t show respect. Indeed, so far, with the tricky move, Dr. Yunus has convinced them to talk for him and hence, in the recent phase, twelve US senators urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to end, what they felt, persistent harassment of Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and abuse of laws and the justice system.
In a letter to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, they said that for more than a decade, Professor Yunus had faced more than 150 unsubstantiated cases brought against him in Bangladesh.
‘We write urging you to end the persistent harassment of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, and the pattern of abusing laws and the justice system to target critics of the government more broadly,’ said the letter led by US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who also tweeted a copy of the letter issued on January 22.
Other signatories to the letter were Todd Young, Tim Kaine, Dan Sullivan, Jeff Merkley, Jeanne Shaheen, Ed Markey, Sherrod Brown, Peter Welch, Sheldon Whitehouse, Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker.
Legal Prosecutor’s Reply to them
Khurshid Alam Khan, a lawyer for the Department of Factories and Establishments, has rejected the letter sent by 12 US Senators to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He said,” The senators should read the verdict of Bangladesh’s labor court, analyze the trial, and then give a statement. Commenting without reading or listening is directly tantamount to interfering in the judicial system of Bangladesh.”
Following the January 1, 2024 verdict by the Bangladesh Labor Court handing six month’s imprisonment to controversial Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, influential UK newspaper The Daily Express in an article has criticized the “unexpected radical Islamist support for” him stating it is “not just a domestic affair but signals a disconcerting trend that could have far-reaching implications”.
The Daily Express Mentioned:
This trend underscores the manipulation of public opinion and the narrative by opponents of the ruling party, predominantly radical Islamist factions, representing a perilous attempt to contaminate public discourse.
Such strategies, limited for now to distant shores, have the potential to be exported to other nations, including the UK, which is also on the cusp of significant political change.
In the socio-political fabric of Bangladesh, the legal predicaments of Dr. Muhammad Yunus reflect a wider, troubling pattern threatening democracies. Accused under the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006, Dr. Yunus’s conviction has sparked substantial outcry, notably from radical Islamist factions within the country.
These factions have framed the legal proceedings as politically motivated, portraying Dr. Yunus as a victim of government oppression, a narrative seemingly championing justice but in reality often furthering their own extremist agendas.
The Daily Express also mentioned, Dr. Yunus, once a symbol of innovative economic empowerment, along with his associates, faced severe legal repercussions that have significantly dented his once stellar reputation.
This high-profile case, featuring a Nobel Laureate, highlights the vital role of transparency and accountability in financial affairs, especially within organizations that wield substantial societal influence. It reinforces the notion that no one, regardless of their stature, can evade the law, emphasizing the need for a thorough examination of corruption allegations.