Lawyers, students want Kentucky Derby favorite barred from race
Category: SportsVia: vic-eldred • 3 weeks ago • 11 comments
By: John Bowden (TheHill)
Kentucky-based human rights activists are calling for the ruler of Dubai, United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed, to be barred from entering a horse in the Kentucky Derby over allegations that he is imprisoning his own daughter.
A complaint with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission obtained this week by The New York Times calls for Mohammed to be disinvited from participating in the race until his daughter, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, is released from custody.
Sheikha Latifa has been absent from public view since her disappearance in 2018, when she was taken into custody in a joint operation by Emirati and Indian authorities on a yacht in international waters.
The complaint, sent by law students and professors at the University of Louisville, called for Sheikh Mohammed to be barred from the Derby as well as the overall Kentucky horse-racing scene.
"The Horse Racing Commission must also use its authority to end his involvement in Kentucky horse racing, at least until Princess Latifa is free of captivity," read the complaint, according to the Times.
Sheikh Mohammed's horse, Essential Quality, is currently the 2:1 favorite to win the race, according to oddsmakers.
The Hill has reached out to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for comment.
Other human rights activists also told the Times that the UAE's leader should be ostracized.
"His behavior is beyond the pale," Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, added to the newspaper. "He should be persona non grata at these big events."