Sudanese demand death for jailed UK teacher

December 1st, 2007 - 1:26 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec.1 (ANI): Two days after being told that she would be spending 15 days in Khartoums infamous and squalid Omdurman Womens Prison for naming a teddy bear Mohammed, 54-year-old teacher Gillian Gibbons is now facing the possibility of being shot dead.
Thousands of Sudanese marchers amassed outside the presidential palace in Khartoum on Friday to state that the 15-day prison sentence for Gillian was too lenient and that she should be put to death.
The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pick-up trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gillian.
They also burned pictures of Gillian and massed in central Martyrs Square, outside the palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed, though they did not attempt to disrupt the rally, reported The Sun.
Shame, shame on the UK, No tolerance: Execution, and Kill her, kill her by firing squad rent the air in Khartoum streets.
Gillians chief lawyer, Kamal al Gizouli, said the protests were so overwhelming that his client had to be moved out of the prison near Khartoum to a secret location.
They moved this lady from the prison department to put her in other hands and in other places to cover her and wait until she completes her imprisonment period, he said, adding that she was in good health.
They want by hook or by crook to complete these nine days without any difficulties which would have an impact on their foreign relationship.
Most protestors did not believe Gibbons claims that she didnt mean to insult the prophet.
It is a premeditated action and this unbeliever thinks that she can fool us? said Yassin Mubarak, a young dread-locked man swathed in green and carrying a sword.
What she did requires her life to be taken.
Meanwhile, Britain continues to pursue diplomatic moves in a bid to free Gillian.
PM Gordon Brown spoke with a member of her family to convey his regret, his spokeswoman said.
He set out his concern and the fact that we were doing all we could to secure her release, spokeswoman Emily Hands told reporters.
The Muslim countrys London ambassador was yesterday summoned by furious Foreign Secretary David Miliband to explain the sentence.
Miliband expressed in the strongest terms his concern the charges had not been dismissed.
And British Muslim chiefs branded the verdict disgraceful.
Muhammed Abdul Bari, Secretary-General, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Rowan Williams, said: I cant see any justification for this. It is an absurdly disproportionate response to what is at worst a cultural faux pas.
Calling a teddy bear Mohammed is enough to earn you 40 lashes, jail or a fine in Sudan.
Luckily for Gillian Gibbons she wasnt wearing mens trousers at the time as cross-dressing carries the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Gillian received a touching message of support yesterday from a little girl who calls her teddy bear Mohamed.
Ten-year-old Georgia Leyland bought her bear in Harrods and named it after the famous stores boss, Mohamed Fayed, 74.
But when Georgia heard of Gillians plight she grabbed her dad and asked: Please Daddy, will they lock me up as well?
Parents Mick and Neema, of Wrexham, north Wales, told her she could call the bear what she liked.
Sales manager Mick, 42, said: Shes just a little girl and she doesnt understand.
But its hard to know what to say because none of us can understand why this poor woman is going to go on trial.
Its religion gone bonkers.
The Sudanese should be thoroughly ashamed of their leaders.
And Georgia told Gillian: Youve done nothing wrong. Its just a teddy and you should be allowed to call it Mohamed just like Ive done. (ANI)

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