Nobel Peace Prize winner sentenced to six months in prison in Bangladesh; understand

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The winner of Nobel Peace Prize of 2006, Muhammad Yunus, was sentenced to six months in prison in Bangladesh on Monday the 1st. The economist was arrested for violating the country’s labor laws.

At 83 years old, Yunus has more than 100 charges for violating this law. The arrest of him and three other employees of his bank, the Grameen Telecomarose because they did not set up a social assistance fund for the company’s employees.

The economist denies he committed the crime, and some of his supporters claim the government is trying to discredit him. “This sentence against me is contrary to all legal precedent and logic. I call on the people of Bangladesh to speak with one voice against injustice and in favor of democracy and human rights for each and every one of our citizens,” Yunus said in a statement.

The banker’s lawyer, Absullah Al Mamun, supported this thesis, stating that the measure is an attempt to intimidate Yunus. Those convicted will be able to pay bail, but will appeal the decision.

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Why the charge of political motivation?

Yunus and his bank won a Nobel Prize for creating microcredit. The modality, now adopted internationally, was responsible for lifting millions of people out of poverty by providing loans of up to $100 to farm workers in the country.

The banker is, however, subject to criticism, including from the Prime Minister Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina accusing him of “sucking blood from the poor”. According to her supporters, she wanted to pursue him because Yunus had already tried to create a party in opposition to Hasina, who is seeking her fourth consecutive term.

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