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Sudan frees Briton in teddy row

ICC Note

“It’s been a strange old week, very strange for the family, and we’re pleased it’s coming to an end,”

December 3, 2007 Sudan (CNN) — A British teacher in Sudan jailed over the naming of a teddy bear has been released from police custody, the British Embassy in Khartoum said, several hours after Sudan ‘s president Omar al-Bashir pardoned her.

Gillian Gibbons, freed after Sudan ‘s president Omar al-Bashir granted her a presidential pardon earlier Monday, apologized for any distress her actions may have caused.

“I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone and I am sorry if I caused any distress,” Gibbons said, in a statement read out by Sayeeda Warsi, one of two Muslim lawmakers who traveled out to Sudan to secure her release.

Gibbons, 54, was sentenced to 15 days in jail last Thursday for having allowed her students at a private school to name a teddy bear “Mohammed.”

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Gibbon’s son John told reporters he was sure his mom would be “very pleased”, but said the family were holding in their excitement until she returned to Britain .

“It’s been a good news morning, but the family won’t be 100 per cent thrilled until she’s on the plane.

“It’s been a strange old week, very strange for the family, and we’re pleased it’s coming to an end,” he said.

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