Some 198 US citizens representing the Bangladeshi diaspora have expressed deep concern at the statement issued by some prominent figures, including former US president Barack Obama, regarding the ongoing trial of Dr Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Bangladeshi Americans said, "We, the undersigned American citizens representing Bangladeshi diaspora communities around the United States, are deeply concerned by the statement issued by some prominent figures, including former president Barack Obama, regarding the ongoing trial of Dr Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh.
"We firmly believe that this statement has been given without a thorough understanding of the facts, and in that process signatories of the open letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh brazenly attacked the sovereignty of the country that gained its independence through the sacrifice of three million martyrs. Nobel laureate Dr Yunus has been charged with money laundering, tax evasion, labour rights abuse by the independent Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC) in Bangladesh."
The statement said, "The case is under trial and no verdict has been reached yet. It is unfortunate that the signatories to the statement have drawn their conclusion without going through the merit of the case, while many of them advocate for rule of law and due process in the administration of justice. We, the undersigned, have been observing Dr Yunus' malpractice for many years. We also are well aware of Dr Yunus's art of deceit in public relations. However, we, as US citizens, never complained about it. We have reasons to believe the signatories of the open letter fell prey to Dr Yunus' deceit.
"It is truly unfortunate to note that signatories of the letter didn't stop by just urging a 'fair trial' for Dr Yunus, but have also indulged into election processes, rule of law and many other issues not related to the case in point."
"It is quite evident that the signatories unnecessarily tarnished their reputation by indulging into internal issues of a sovereign country that we so proudly call our motherland. Their call for a trial under 'impartial judges' completely undermined the entire judicial system and is an attack on the dignity of the honourable judges of a sovereign nation," the Bangladeshi Americans write.
On 28 August, over 170 global leaders, including more than 100 Nobel laureates, issued an open letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, saying, "We are alarmed that he [Yunus] has recently been targeted by what we believe to be continuous judicial harassment."