Bangladesh: Arrest warrant for Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus

DHAKA: An arrest warrant has been issued against the Bangladeshi economist and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus for skipping a Dhaka labour court appearance.

The Third Labour Court of Dhaka Chairman Rohibul Islam passed the orders for his arrest he failed to appear for a scheduled hearing, The Hindu reported.

“Though the two senior officials of the Grameen Communications appeared before the court, Yunus failed to turn up, following which the chairman of the court, Rohibul Islanm, issued the arrest warrant against him,” a court official said in a statement.

Complaint Against Yunus

A judge at a court in Dhaka issued the order Wednesday as sacked workers from Grameen Communications (GC) lodged a complaint saying they were fired because they set up a trade union, court clerk M. Nuruzzaman told AFP.

Yunus, who is chairman of GC, did not attend the hearing as he was abroad. The chief executive officer and a senior manager at the company appeared at the court and secured bail, Nuruzzaman said.

“He (Yunus) left Bangladesh before receiving any summons for appearing before the court. As soon as he returns, an appropriate legal step shall be taken,” Yunus’s lawyer Kazi Ershadul Alam told AFP.

Founder Of Grameen Bank

The 79-year-old former economics professor, who founded the pioneering poverty-busting micro lender Grameen Bank, has been at odds with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2007 when he made a brief foray into the country’s highly polarised politics.

In 2011, he was sacked as the head of Grameen Bank, in a move widely believed to have been orchestrated by Hasina. He challenged his sacking in the highest court, but lost.

Won The Nobel

Yunus set up the Bank, which co-won the Nobel with him in 2006, in 1983 to make collateral-free micro loans to millions of rural entrepreneurs. The bank is now run by managers appointed by Hasina.

Hasina has accused him of “sucking blood” from the poor amid allegations the bank charges interest rates of more than 20 percent, and suggested he was responsible for the World Bank pulling a $1.2 billion loan for a mega bridge project.

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