Sudan frees Briton in teddy row - CNN.com:
KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) -- A British teacher in Sudan jailed over the naming of a teddy bear has been released from police custody, the British Embassy in Khartoum said, several hours after Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir pardoned her.
An undated amateur photo shows Gillian Gibbons, who was jailed for allowing children to name a teddy bear 'Mohammed'. Gillian Gibbons, freed after Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir granted her a presidential pardon earlier Monday, apologized for any distress her actions may have caused.
'I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone and I am sorry if I caused any distress,' Gibbons said, in a statement read out by Sayeeda Warsi, one of two Muslim lawmakers who traveled out to Sudan to secure her release.
Gibbons, 54, wassentenced to 15 days in jail last Thursday for having allowed her students at a private school to name a teddy bear 'Mohammed.'
Without a pardon, she would have remained in jail another six days.
She is expected to leave Sudan on flight to England soon after the courts ruled she should be deported after completing her sentence, the spokesman said.
Gibbons also praised the 'kindness and generosity' of the Sudanese and said she would be sad to leave her job at the Unity High School and said she would miss her students 'terribly'. "
Monday, December 3, 2007
Hundreds have taken to the streets in Sudan in protest of of the Pardon. They are marching in the streets, carrying swords and flags and calling for Gibbons death. (Photo from Al Jazeera Web Site)