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Teacher Pardoned for Teddy Bear Naming

Posted Dec 3, 2007 8:08 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: Sudan’s president has pardoned the British teacher convicted of insulting religion for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Gillian Gibbons, sentenced to 15 days in jail, has been released and transferred to the British embassy and is preparing for her trip home, the Daily Express reports.

Gibbons' son, John, thanked the Sudanese president for pardoning his mother, the Telegraph reports.

"It’s been a very strange, surreal and very stressful week and we are very pleased that it is coming to an end," he said. "The last seven days has taught me that anything can happen in this life."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown he was "delighted and relieved" at the news.

Gibbons released a statement of apology today.

"I have been in Sudan for only four months, but I have enjoyed myself immensely,” the statement said. "I have encountered nothing but kindness and generosity from the Sudanese people. I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone. I am sorry if I caused any distress.”

Story updated at 7:40 a.m.

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