Gibbons accused of blasphemy, faces being whipped; UK officials work on early release
SCROOGE ALERT – INTERNATIONAL
This from CNN:
Bid to stop whipping over toy bear
LONDON, England — UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Tuesday that officials were working to secure the early release of a British teacher who faces being whipped in Sudan after she allowed her class to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.”
Gillian Gibbons, 54, has been accused of blasphemy and is being held by police in the capital Khartoum, Kirsty Saunders, British Foreign Office spokeswoman told CNN.
Police arrested the school teacher after she asked her class of seven-year-olds to come up with a name for the toy as part of a school project, according to widespread media reports.
Parents of students at the Unity High School in Khartoum informed the authorities and Gibbons was taken into custody Sunday, Saunders told CNN.
So far Gibbons has yet to be charged with any offense, however, under Sudanese law, insulting Islam is punishable with 40 lashes, a jail term of up to six months or a fine, she said.
However, a Sudanese official told CNN that if police decided that Gibbons had acted in good faith, she would most likely be spared punishment.
“If the intentions are good, definitely she will be absolved and will be cautioned not to repeat this thing again,” Mutrif Siddig, Sudan’s under secretary for foreign affairs, said…