Bangladesh court grants Nobel laureate bail in labour law violations case – JURIST

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An appellate court in Bangladesh granted bail to Nobel laureate Muhammed Yunus on Sunday, as reported by a local media. Yunus was previously sentenced to six month imprisonment for labour law violations in his company Garameen Telecom. Following this bail order, an appeal will now be heard against his case. Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work pioneering microfinance and microlending, which helps poor entrepreneurs start small businesses.

Yunus and three others were sentenced to imprisonment on January 1st 2023 by Sheikh Merina Sultana, chairman of the Third Labour Court of Dhaka. Yunus, who is the Chairman of Garameen Telecom, was sentenced alongside three of its directors, Ashraful Hassan, Nurjahan Begum, and M Shahjahan. Allegedly, Garameen Telecom refused to make 67 workers permanent employees, and failed to form a “welfare fund” to support staff in emergencies. All four were initially granted bail for a month following individual bail pleas. Appeals were then filed by Yunus and his colleagues against the convictions.

In the Labour Appellate Court Tribunal on Sunday, Chairman MA Awal passed an order granting bail to the four applicants. This bail will remain effective until the case is heard again on appeal. Yunus spoke to local reporters following the grant of his bail and questioned the motivation behind his previous conviction. In speaking with one reporter he asked: “Did the workers do this, or did the government do this?”

Yunus’s lawyer Abdullah-Al-Mamun, also commented on the case. As reported by local news outlet The Daily Star, he stated that in their challenge to this case, they “submitted a petition, containing some 25 points against the sentence.” He further stated that the first hearing regarding the appeal is set to occur on March 3rd.

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