50 editors protest open letter on Yunus
Fifty editors in a joint statement yesterday protested the issuance of an open letter by foreigners to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina favouring Dr Muhammad Yunus.
"Some foreign noted personalities, including Nobel laureates, politicians, businessmen and civil society members, on August 28 issued an open letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, calling to stop the ongoing trial proceedings against Dr Muhammad Yunus under Bangladesh's labour law. It is an undue interference in the independent judiciary of a sovereign country; we strongly protest it," they said.
Noting that according to Article 94(4) of the country's constitution, the judiciary of Bangladesh is completely independent, they said, "By issuing such a letter, we think they have unethically, illegally and unconstitutionally interfered in the independent judicial system of Bangladesh".
Such statements or open letters completely go against the provisions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the laws of Bangladesh, safeguarding labour rights, the editors added.
Such statements and letters from the globally famous and Nobel laureate personalities are unwanted and unethical, they said, adding the demand that one cannot be prosecuted or sued for committing crimes is contrary to the establishment of justice and the rule of law.
"We think they made such a demand without having proper knowledge about the cases (against Dr Yunus). So, we would like to invite them or their representatives to come to Bangladesh and observe whether Dr Yunus is being harassed at all. Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already given this message, and we also support it," said the eminent editors.
The comments made in the letter regarding democracy and elections in Bangladesh are tantamount to direct interference in an independent and sovereign state, the statement said, adding, as citizens of the independent country, which emerged through the great Liberation War, the people of Bangladesh will not accept such insulting, unwanted and illegal interference from any quarter.
"We call upon all concerned to show respect to Bangladesh's independence, sovereignty, independent judiciary and labour rights," the editors said.
The editors included the Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, the Ajker Patrika Editor Golam Rahman, the Ittefaq Editor Tasmima Hossain, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad, the Kaler Kantho Chief Editor Imdadul Haque Milan, the Samakal Editor Alamgir Hossain, the Jugantor Editor Saiful Alam, the Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam, UNB Editor Farid Hossain and the Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutt.