Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sudanese president pardons British teacher for insulting Islam

British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons, who was arrested in Sudan for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad, was pardoned by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Monday, The New York Times reported the same day.

Gibbons was sentenced to serve 15 days in prison last week for insulting Islam. The sentence was protested on Friday by hundreds of Sudanese who considered it too lenient.

Bashir delivered the pardon after meeting with two Muslim peers from Britain’s House of Lords.

Bashir is currently under pressure from the United Nations and Western countries who are saying Sudan is obstructing an expanded peacekeeping force in the Darfur region of the country.

“This was all political,” said Kamal al-Gizouli, Gibbons’ defense attorney. “The government did this to show they are tolerant. They don’t need any more problems with the world and the international media.”

Gibbons released a statement in which she apologizes for offending Muslims.

“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 and I am sorry if I caused any distress.”

Gibbons was sent home to England Monday.

For the full article, click here.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home