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US wants a ‘fair’ legal process against Prof Yunus

Staff Reporter:

The United States has said it wants to see a fair and transparent legal process regarding the case against Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.
“For our part, we have encouraged the Bangladeshi government to ensure a fair and transparent legal process,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a regular media briefing at Wash-ington on January 3.
The US State Department spokesperson said Yunus has made significant contributions to the alleviation of poverty around the world, as reflected in his Nobel Peace Prize and numerous other international honors.
He said they have been following the case against him closely.
“We’ve seen, of course, the widespread international criticism of the verdict,” Miller said.
He said they will continue to follow any further developments closely.
On Monday, Labour Court No.3 of Dhaka, sentenced the microfinance pioneer and three top officials of Grameen Telecom to six months’ jail in a case over violations of the labor law.
In a statement published by Yunus Centre, Yunus said, “As my lawyers have convincingly argued in court, this verdict against me is contrary to all legal precedent and logic.”
He pledged to serve the countrymen and the social business movement to the best of his ability.
“I call for the Bangladeshi people to speak in one voice against injustice and in favor of democracy and human rights for each and every one of our citizens,” said the 83-year-old.
Yunus, along with three Grameen Telecom officials, managed to avoid prison, as they were granted bail.
Responding to a question on January 7 polls, US Spokesperson Miller again said they support a free and fair election in Bangladesh.
“We have made that quite clear a number of times. We will watch the elections very closely,” he said.
But of course, the US State Department spokesperson added, he would never speculate in advance about what actions they may or may not take in response to any development.

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