Frustrated with Qatar’s court system and unable to afford to attend the upcoming retrial of her daughter’s alleged murderer, a British expat has launched a new campaign to help “justice prevail.”
Lauren Patterson, a 24-year-old teacher, was stabbed to death in October 2013. One of the last people to see her alive, Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al-Jabar, was convicted of killing her, and burning her remains in the desert.
However, last month, Qatar’s highest court threw out his guilty verdict and death penalty sentence.
At the same time, it upheld a three-year sentence against his friend Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz, who was found guilty of helping Al-Jabar dispose of Patterson’s body, as well as damaging and erasing evidence.
Al-Jaber now faces a new trial that begins on March 27.
Alison Patterson said she wants to attend the hearing, but has run out of funds to pay for the trip.
In a public post on Facebook this week, she said:
“Since October 2013 I have returned to Qatar over 11 times to attend court hearings, the 2 men who claimed to take Lauren home that night were charged with her murder…
I need your help. I am 1 woman, a small voice against a judicial system I don’t understand. With many voices maybe justice will prevail. I am also asking for people to donate, I have no money left to continually travel to Qatar to help fight the new court case.”
She also shared gruesome details about being called to Qatar to identify her daughter’s remains, saying:
“All that was left was part of her head and neck, her upper jaw teeth with her brace still intact. Part of the chest with the knife still embedded… Her feet were the only part of her body intact as they had been over the edge of the fire pit and her red nail polish that she loved was still visible.”
Breaking her silence
So far, the campaign has raised some £7,000 of its £30,000 target goal (QR38,000 out of QR155,000).
After two years of refusing to comment to media in her home country, Alison Patterson has been interviewing with major British outlets to help spread the word about her campaign.
In an interview with ITV over the weekend, she said seeing Al-Jaber locked up for the rest of his life would be the best outcome she could hope for.
And speaking to Doha News, Patterson explained she has chosen to finally break her silence after running out of all other options.
“I feel I have kept very silent regarding the British press giving the Qatari Justice system time to do their job. I hope I have respected the way things are done in Qatar but feel so disappointed and let down by the retrial. So what have I got to lose now?”
Al-Jaber will remain in custody until the trial begins anew on Easter.