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50 editors condemn meddling in Bangladesh judiciary

Published : 02 Sep 2023 10:45 PM | Updated : 03 Sep 2023 12:32 PM

Some 50 editors of different daily newspapers and news agencies in Bangladesh on Saturday protested the attempt of interference into the independent judiciary system in Bangladesh by some foreign prominent personalities centring the trial process of Dr Muhammad Yunus.

Those foreign prominent personalities in an open letter to the Prime Minister recently had demanded to postpone the ongoing trial process against Dr Muhammad Yunus.

In a joint statement issued on Saturday (September 2, 2023), the editors termed the global leaders’ call as a threat to Bangladesh’s sovereignty and independent judiciary.

“It is an undue interference with the judicial system of Bangladesh. We strongly protest and condemn the global leaders’ call to suspend legal action against Dr. Muhammad Yunus,” the editors said in the statement.

“According to Article 94 (4) of the Bangladesh Constitution, the judiciary of the country is completely separate and independent. In such a situation, the open letter of global leaders seems to be a clear threat to Bangladesh’s sovereignty and independent judiciary. Such kind of open letter is contrary to fundamental rights of labourers recognized of labours recognised by the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and labour law of Bangladesh,” they said. 

The signatories in the joint statement include Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Editor of Daily Observer; Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) which is state-run national news agency of Bangladesh, Tasmima Hossain, Editor of Daily Ittefaq; Sharif Shahab Uddin of Bangladesh Post; Golam Rahman of Ajker Potrika; Shyamal Dutta of Bhorer Kagoj; Imdadul Haque Milon of Kaler Kantha; Alamgir Hossain of Samakal; Saiful Islam of Jugantor; Shahjahan Sarder of Bangladesh Journal;  Noim Nizam of Bangladesh Pratidin; Farid Hossain of UNB; Rafiqul Islam Ratan of Bangladesh Bulletin; Sontosh Sharma of Kalbela; Azizul Islam Bhuiyan of Peoples’ Time; Mostafa Mamun of Desh Rupantor; Mustafiz Shafi of Partidiner Bangladesh; Rezaul Karim Lotus of Daily Sun; Faruk Ahmed Talukder of Ajkaler Khobor; Shamima A Khan of Janakantha; and Arifur Rahman Dolon od Dhaka Times. 

On August 28, over 170 global leaders, including over 100 Nobel laureates, issued an open letter to Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, saying, “We are alarmed that he (Dr Yunus) has recently been targeted by what we believe to be continuous judicial harassment.”

Alongside the editors, some 171 eminent citizens of the country also protested at the demand placed in the open letter for postponing the ongoing trial in cases lodged against Dr Muhammad Yunus.

The government has also made reaction over the open letter. The signatories to the letter would be well advised to counsel Dr Muhammad Yunus to operate within the bounds of law in lieu of making unjustified insinuations about Bangladesh’s democratic and electoral processes,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). 

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