Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Law Minister: Govt isn't harassing Dr Yunus

  • Says Department of Labour filed case 
  • Claims accusation of harassment are conspiracy against nation
Update : 01 Feb 2024, 11:41 PM

Law Minister Anisul Huq has said that the government is not harassing Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus and no case has been filed against him on false charges.

The Department of Labour took action to protect workers' rights after an investigation revealed labour rights violations, the minister said at a press conference at his ministry on Thursday.

Anisul said: “No one is above the law, and if anyone commits a crime, that person must face the law. The absence of justice has long plagued the nation. The worst sufferers of this laxity have been Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League. We have established and will continue to establish the rule of law.”

He said that in 2017, workers filed hundreds of cases against Dr Yunus for violations of their rights. “After assurances, they withdrew the cases. However, the labour department's investigation revealed that the institution was still in violation.

"Dr Yunus was warned and advised to prevent these violations, but he ignored them. So the labour department filed a case against him.”

He said: “Dr Yunus's appeals to dismiss the case were rejected by both the High Court and Appellate Division. This means that the country's highest court has approved the conduct of this case."

The minister said accusations of government harassment are a conspiracy against the country.

“... Dr Yunus has requested that the case's hearings be postponed. Every time he requested one, the court gave him an extension. Arguments from the solicitors have been made. The accused has the chance to make a statement. Dr Yunus has given his statement. This aspect enables us to assess the accused's guilt or innocence based on the evidence produced in court."

"The trial is over. Why do external entities want to intervene now?" Anisul asked.

About the speed of the trial, he said: "Each case is different. Some cases are resolved quickly based on societal demands, like the Feni rape case and the Sylhet child murder case."

On the issue of tax evasion, he said: "Dr Yunus went to the Appellate Division and lost, subsequently paying Tk12 crore in taxes. One does not pay such an amount if they have not evaded taxes."

To protect labour rights in Bangladesh, the law minister claimed to have had regular communication with foreign labour organizations.

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