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Asia-Pacific

Thousands protest at Yunus Grameen sacking

media Muhammad Yunus leaves court after a hearing in Dhaka on Thursday Reuters/Andrew Biraj

Thousands of employees and customers of Grameen Bank protested in Bangladesh on Saturday over the sacking of Nobel prize-winner Muhammad Yunus as head of the microfinance institution he set up.

The 70-year-old economist’s supporters claim his sacking by the Central Bank was the culmination of a vendetta against him.

Grameen Bank workers and customers formed peaceful human chains across the
country, carrying banners calling on the government to stop its "harassment" of Yunus.

Supporters say Yunus's troubles stem from 2007, when he floated the idea of forming a political party, earning the wrath of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has publicly disparaged his work.

Bangladesh's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party called the part of a "conspiracy to destroy the Grameen bank" and US Senator John Kerry, who heads Senate foreign relations committee, called for a "compromise" on the issue.

Yunus has launched a legal battle against the central bank's efforts to remove him from his position as Grameen Bank managing director over a technicality dating back to 2000.

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