'Muhammad' Teddy Bear Teacher Wins Pardon

Brit lords mediated; she'll be free today
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2007 2:42 AM CST
Angry Sudanese protesters hold a newspaper carrying a photo of British teacher Gillian Gibbons, during a protest in Khartoum. The protestors called for the execution of Gibbons, who was convicted of insulting...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A teacher who was sentenced to 15 days in jail in Sudan for allowing a classroom teddy bear to be named Muhammad has won a full pardon and will be freed today, the BBC reports. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir granted the pardon to Gillian Gibbons, 54, after meeting with two British Muslim lords who traveled to Sudan to plead her case.

Her imprisonment drew international condemnation, but in Sudan religious protesters took to the streets to calls for Gibbons' death, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was "delighted and relieved" at the news. Gibbons, who will be flown back to Britain upon her release, made a statement that emphasized her respect for Islam and for her Sudanese students, and apologized for any distress she may have caused.