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Expat wanderer

Qatar Teacher’s Murderer Sentenced to Death

From Doha News:


After verdict, Patterson family worries justice won’t be served



Alison Patterson, mother of Lauren Patterson.

At this time last year, Alison Patterson was celebrating Mother’s Day in the UK with two of her three children. Her eldest daughter Lauren was working in Qatar, and sent a gift and a card home, as she always did when she was away.

Today, things are very different for the Patterson family. Daughter Lauren was killed in October by acquaintances in Doha, and on Thursday, a criminal court here found two Qatari men responsible for the 24-year-old teacher’s murder.

One of the defendants, 22-year-old Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar, was given a death sentence.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabar

The other, 24-year-old Muhammad Abdullah Hassan Abdul Aziz, was handed a three-year jail term for helping Al-Jabar burn Patterson’s body, which was considered damaging and erasing evidence.

At the time of the sentencing, Alison Patterson told media that “justice was served” in the case of Al-Jabar, but that she was deeply upset with Abdul Aziz’s lighter sentence.

In an interview with Doha Newstoday, Patterson said she is worried that neither of the convicted men will pay for what they did to her daughter.

“Is it something that’s just been said – and that’s never going to happen?” she asked.

At the root of her doubts is a scene she witnessed after Thursday’s verdict inside the courthouse. Patterson had gone in search of her two younger children, and ended up passing a sitting area where the defendants were being held.

“They were just laughing and joking with each other,” she said. “It just almost makes me feels that they were laughing at what happened. They have no respect for the sentence they’ve been given.”

Another issue that troubles her is that Qatar has not executed any prisoners in more than a decade, according to Amnesty International.

Prior to her daughter’s death, Patterson said she never gave the death penalty much thought. But after being told that Al-Jabar sexually assaulted her daughter, stabbed her to death and then attempted to burn her remains at a farm outside of Doha, she said she supported the punishment.

“Lauren came home in a box the weighed 7 kilos,” Patterson said with regards to her daughter’s remains. “She weighed 50 kilos when she died.”

Other questions

Patterson has also been unable to shake an argument she read on a recent blog post about her daughter’s case on “Muslims Worldwide,” which she found while googling Lauren’s name.

The site appears to be full of hate speech about Islam and its adherents, but the post on Patterson struck a chord with Lauren’s mother because it questioned whether the quick sentencing of Al-Jabar was done so that officials could close the book on this crime, which the prosecutor called “heinous, foreign and shocking to a society as conservative as Qatar’s.”

The blog post reads:

“Sharia gives no justice to a kafir (non-Muslim/non-believer). And it never gives a death sentence to a Muslim over a crime committed against a non-Muslim…

So why would they announce the ‘death penalty’ if it is not given out? To appease the media. This case has been circulating all over the world. Arabs can’t stand negative media attention…These Arab countries make bogus claims of justice only to get the media off their back. In reality they keep them in prison and release them after 1-2 years.”

The last sticking point is that the verdicts must pass through two appellate courts here before they’re officially final, meaning closure could be some ways off for Patterson and her family.


Speaking to Doha News, Patterson’s partner Kevin Crotty said they were grateful for all the Qatari government has done to ensure a speedy trial.

“They’ve been more than generous and more than reasonable,” he said. “Everything’s been done that should have been done. But them (the defendants) smiling – and the lighter sentence for the second one… Ultimately, we’ve always felt the political angle was there. Is there something that we should worry about?”

The Pattersons’ lawyer, Sami Abu Shaikha, has said he plans to appeal Abdul Aziz’s three-year sentence, asking for a more severe penalty.

Meanwhile, Alison Patterson, who has started smoking again after 15 years due to the stress of all that’s happened, said she knows that whatever the outcome, the pain will likely never go away.

“There will never be peace. (But) I just really don’t want to be let down,” she said.


April 6, 2014 - Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Safety


  1. Fly in, have (someone) “do justice” to him. Fly out. Plenty of former IRA out of work these days….

    Comment by Desert Girl | April 7, 2014 | Reply

  2. There is one small satisfaction – the names have been made public. The men are shamed, even if and when released, their marriage possibilities in Qatari families have been severely damaged. The families will remember. The internet has a long memory.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 7, 2014 | Reply

  3. I love that they are posting photos too.

    Comment by Desert Girl | April 8, 2014 | Reply

    • Evil deeds are like a residue that sticks to you. These men will not be welcomed in good houses.

      Comment by intlxpatr | April 8, 2014 | Reply

  4. Marriage? Who cares about marriage? If convicted of murder then the murderer should be executed in accordance with the sentencing and that’s that. Also, I agree the three years for helping to burn the remains is a joke. But what I find most upsetting as a Muslim is the stuff with the no punishment for non-Muslim as I believe thats’ TOTALLY untrue. There’s no it’s OK if you rape and stab anyone in our religion and I really hope that the family’s grief doesn’t allow them to give in to the hatred spewed on an anti-Islam website. I hope to God that the poor murdered girl does get the justice she deserves. This whole thing is disgusting.

    Comment by Razan | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  5. Yeeeaaah. . . Qatar is in a tough place. Qatar believes, theoretically, in equal justice, but still struggles with issues of family influence. I am guessing most people see this verdict as a sop to the west – as it was a Western woman (no one even mentions how this sort of thing happens from time to time to Asian household help) who was abducted, raped and killed.

    You know how it is. Although Doha aspires to modernity, the traditional values are very strong. Many wonder why a woman would come all the way to Qatar to live on her own – what kind of girl is she, and why does her family let her do this? And she went to the club, and she accepted a ride home with these two very eager guys. Betting is that at least one will be freed at the next Eid, and the one with the death sentence will be freed a year or two later, quietly, hoping the world will have moved on and no one will pay any attention. It totally sucks.

    In every country of the world, some men think of women as theirs for the taking, as property. In every country in the world, some parents of these entitled predators use their money and influence to enable their shameful behavior, to buy their way out of trouble, to excuse the inexcusable. In every country, there are those who go ‘slut shaming’; and blame the victim.

    It isn’t Qatar, Qatar is just on a different point of the spectrum. We are all struggling to find “all people equal before the law.”

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 9, 2014 | Reply

    • Yeah shaming the victim based on attire is awful and unfair. Having said that, lots and lots of women and men for that matter, take security for granted. How often do you hear of people getting raped in broad daylight and in a busy street? It’s mostly when people take dark short cuts or accept rides from strangers or just generally have a misplaced sense of security. It doesn’t mean it’s ok that this happens to them … nothing, NOTHING, makes this OK. But I think the onus is on us to be informed about how dangerous the world really is and to be responsible and vigilant when it comes to our safety.

      Comment by Razan | April 11, 2014 | Reply

      • I agree. And then there is that one time when you are just the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. We can make the best decisions possible, but bad things can still happen.

        I think it’s important to keep an eye on what happens down the road in Qatar with these convicted killers.

        Comment by intlxpatr | April 11, 2014

  6. We know what happened to O J Simpson after he killed his ex wife and her boyfriend , he was acquitted ,
    And what happened to hundreds of clergy who raped little kids ?? Nothing , well money settlement !!!!
    Now lets see what happens now to Oscar -my lady- Pistorious in Souh Africa’s trials
    Any bets ???

    Comment by daggero | April 12, 2014 | Reply

  7. My bet: Pistorious will be found guilty. I only say this because of the faces in the courtroom when he speaks – they aren’t buying it. The evidence does not seem to favor Pistorious’ story.

    Totally agree about OJ Simpson. Those rich enough to buy a good lawyer have a chance to go free, and many, though not all, do. The clergy – oh Daggero, think of the punishment they have pulled down on themselves in the next life. Jesus says that anyone who harms one of the little children might as well jump into the deep waters with a heavy stone around his neck. Wrong is just wrong.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 12, 2014 | Reply

  8. Wonder how differently this entire episode would have panned out if the victim was Asian or African instead of white?!
    My guess is they likely would not have nabbed the accussed in the first instance much less sentenced them for what it’s worth. South East Asian and African life in the Middle East is cheap whether you like to admit it or not.

    I am not all that surprised why Al Jazeera isn’t making too much noise about it either.

    Comment by John Doe | April 24, 2014 | Reply

  9. John Doe – that is a subtext here, isn’t it? That these abductions, rapes, and even deaths happen every month in Qatar, it happens all the time, and it is swept under the carpet, it is such shame that they make it that it never happened. It is outrageous. If a country wants to be modern, and have modern laws, those laws can’t just be on paper, they have to be enforced, equally, EVEN AGAINST CITIZENS.

    I printed this for my Qatari readers. While they have a ‘somewhat free’ press, there is a lot the press self-censors in order not to be shut down. Most of the staff writers are Indian, and they have a way of reporting the crimes so that while details are minimal, at least the crime is reported. I bless the brotherhood of Indian journalists in the Middle East who walk a very fine line, but push the line as far as they can to insure that the crimes do not go unnoticed.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 24, 2014 | Reply

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