Teddy Bear Teacher Goes Free

Amid protests over pardon, educator to head home to UK
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2007 11:36 AM CST
Teddy Bear Teacher Goes Free
Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir talks during a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday Dec. 3, 2007, after he agreed to pardon a British teacher jailed here after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad. The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, said she did not intend to offend anyone and...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Gillian Gibbons was released today after a week behind Sudanese bars and apologized "if I have caused any distress," the Guardian reports. Though some called for her death, Gibbons wasn’t bearing a grudge. “I have encountered nothing but kindness from the Sudanese people,” she said in a statement. A spokesman for Sudan’s London embassy said protesters represented a fringe element.

“I’m sure she’ll be quite embarrassed to be on the news permanently,” said Gibbons' relieved son. But in Sudan, tension has built over the case, and “many Sudanese will see it as unfair to them,” said a government spokesman. In Britain, Muslims largely supported Gibbons, something Gordon Brown was quick to point out. (Read more teddy bears stories.)

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