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Sudan president pardons UK teacher convicted of insulting Islam

[JURIST] Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile] Monday pardoned British school teacher Gillian Gibbons, convicted of insulting Islam [JURIST report] last week for allowing her students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad. Last Thursday, Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation under Article 125 of the Sudanese criminal code. Gibbons had originally been charged with inciting religious hatred [Guardian report] and faced six months in prison, 40 lashes, and a fine. She was arrested [BBC report] last week after several parents complained about the teddy bear. Gibbons maintains that she did not intend to offend anyone and expressed her respect for the Islamic religion. British officials are making arrangements for her release and flight back to England.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official profile] welcomed Gibbons' release [press release], saying that "common sense has prevailed" in the matter. AP has more.

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