Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
KHARTOUM - A British primary school teacher has been arrested in Sudan, accused of insulting Islam's Prophet by letting her class of seven-year-olds name a teddy bear Mohammed, her school said yesterday.
Colleagues of Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, said they feared for her safety after reports that young men had started gathering outside the Khartoum police station where she was being held.
Teachers at Unity High School in central Khartoum said Gibbons made an innocent mistake and simply let her pupils choose their favourite name for the toy as part of a school project.
Police arrested Gibbons on Sunday at her home inside the school premises after a number of parents complained to Sudan's ministry of education, said Unity director Robert Boulos.
Boulos said Gibbons had been charged with "blasphemy", an offence punishable by up to three months in prison and a fine.
A spokesman of the British embassy in Khartoum said it was unclear whether Gibbons had been formally charged. "We are following it up with authorities and trying to meet her," he said.
Boulos said he had decided to close down the school until January for fear of reprisals in Sudan's predominantly Muslim capital. "This is a very sensitive issue. We are very worried about her safety," he added. "This was an innocent mistake. Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam." - Reuters