Breaking: Sudan finds teacher guilty of ‘inciting religious hatred’ – sentenced to 15 days and deportation

The AP reports:

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) – A defense lawyer says a British teacher has been found guilty of inciting religious hatred and sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation from Sudan.

Gillian Gibbons went on trial earlier today for by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad, a crime punishable by up to 40 lashes and six months in jail.

Gibbons walked in without handcuffs, wearing a dark jacket and blue skirt, according to reporters in the courtroom before media were ordered out of the chamber. Riot police surrounded the courthouse.

Muhammad is a common name among Muslim men, but giving the name of Islam’s founder to an animal would be seen as insulting by many Muslims.

In a statement read to the court, Gibbons explained the incident and emphasized that her 7-year-old students picked the teddy bear’s name, British Embassy spokesman Omar Daair told The Associated Press. Gibbons’ lawyer said she would likely take the stand later.

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