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27 August 2008 09:45 am

Find my son’s killers, father of slain Qatari boy pleads

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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The grieving father of murdered Qatari student Mohammed Al Majed is seeking justice following the death of his son, who was brutally assaulted by a gang of four in Hastings, a town in south-east England. "Justice has to be done in all this investigation," said Mohammed's father Abdullah. "All of those involved in committing this act should be punished for this crime on a young, innocent 16-year-old boy. Mohammed was a young student who was loved by his family, friends and teachers. He was a charming, loving boy and there is nothing that can replace our loss." Mohammed, 16, from Qatar and a student at EF International Language Schools in White Rock, was with four friends and was trying to avoid a row when he was assaulted outside a restaurant in Hasting, East Sussex, on Friday night. He suffered a head injury and later died in Kings College Hospital, London, on Saturday. His body was brought to Qatar yesterday. British police have already arrested four over the death of the young Qatari student. Three men, aged 17, 18 and 20, were arrested and later released on bail. Subsequently, police said they had arrested an 18-year-old local man in connection with the death. "The men approached us and began to abuse us," said Majid Al Ganim, Mohammed's room-mate, who also sustained an injury in the attack. "They started calling us 'Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden'. We tried to avoid a confrontation and left without responding. They chased us and attacked Mohammed," he said. A fellow student at the school, Abdullah Ababtain, 19, from Saudi Arabia, said foreign pupils were now fearful of further trouble. "I think what happened is very bad. All the people when they come to study English next year may not choose this place, because there are problems. I'm scared now." "We don't know from were they came with the tools to attack us," said another Qatari. Meanwhile, Qatar's Ambassador to the UK, Khalid bin Rashid Al Mansoori, conveyed his condolences to Mohammed's family. "We are closely following the investigation and the proceedings here. The primary results indicate that the case has a racial background. We will do everything possible," he said. The Turkish owner of the restaurant in front of which the incident took place, Dr Remzi Tanriverdi, has said he informed the police while the attack was going on. Newspapers in the UK have criticised the police for not taking immediate action. "I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the assault to contact the police," said Deputy Chief Inspector Graham Pratt, who is leading the investigation. "It was a busy time of the evening and there were many young people in the area. I am sure many of them would have seen what happened." Last year, 14 Qatari students fled after they were repeatedly assaulted by racists yobs in Salisbury. The Pen