Gillian Gibbons is now safely back in the U.K. after her ordeal of being arrested and then sentenced to jail for allowing her class to name a teddy bear Mohammed, which is a common name for boys within Islam. She was charged with “insulting Islam”.
Teacher speaks of Sudan ‘ordeal’
Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, had spent eight
Mrs Gibbons said she was in “total shock” but was “well treated in prison and everyone was very kind to me”.
After speaking at Heathrow, she was taken by police to an unnamed location.
The teacher and her family were expected to return to
Mrs Gibbons’ son, John, and, daughter, Jessica met her
Mrs Gibbons, a mother-of-two, was arrested on 25
She arrived back to London accompanied by British Muslim peers Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed, who had mediated for her release.
After a meeting with Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed, the
On her arrival at Heathrow, Mrs Gibbons looked tired but
He understands that when Mrs Gibbons was first arrested,
Only then was she told that her case had become an international media story.
Mrs Gibbons said the incident had “all come as a huge
She said: “I was very upset to think that I may have caused offence to people – very, very upset about it.
“I’m just an ordinary middle-aged primary school
Mrs Gibbons added that she was “very sorry” to leave Sudan, where she had had a “fabulous time”.
She said: “It is a beautiful place and I had a chance to see some of the countryside.
“The Sudanese people I found to be extremely kind and generous and until this happened I only had a good experience.”
“I wouldn’t like to put anyone off going to Sudan.
“I would like to thank Lord Ahmed and Baroness Warsi and
Mrs Gibbons said she was treated the same as other
When asked if she was going to continue as a teacher, Mrs Gibbons said: “I’m looking for a job – I am jobless.”
Lady Warsi, who helped negotiate a pardon for Mrs
She said: “On Sunday we spent most of that day having
“And then at the end of Sunday we were presented with
“We had that meeting on Monday morning… and thankfully we secured a release.”
The teacher’s local MP, Louise Ellman, has welcomed Mrs
“The original incident was something very innocent and
Downing Street said Prime Minister Gordon Brown had spoken to Mrs Gibbons upon her arrival in the UK.
He is said to be pleased that she had returned, wished
Khalid al Mubarak, media counsellor at the Sudanese embassy in London, said he was very pleased the situation had been resolved.
He also suggested that orientation classes for
He said a short course ending in an exam, perhaps run at
Mrs Gibbons’ son earlier said his family had been “under
Meanwhile, Jonah Fisher, former BBC Khartoum
But in actuality, it appears to be Sudan’s President al-Bashir who has been left with a red face, he added.
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