Human Rights Advocates Want Kentucky Horse Racing Panel to Ban Dubai Ruler Accused of Kidnapping Daughter

Steve Bittenbender
April 18, 2019,

Human rights activists called on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to ban Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum from entering his horses in races at Churchill Downs, possibly including the track’s Derby week card.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and owner of horse racing stable Godolphin LLC, faces charges of kidnapping his adult daughter and holding her against her will. Human rights advocates want the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to bar him until he releases her.

The issue stems from the Dubai ruler’s decision to prohibit his adult daughter, Princess Latifa, from leaving the United Arab Emirates and seeking asylum to the United States. The advocates claim Sheikh Mohammed ordered forces to go onboard an American flagged vessel to keep her from fleeing. They also accuse him of confining her, and they want her safe release guaranteed.

High-powered attorney Lisa Bloom and Dr. Samuel Marcosson, a professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, filed the complaint on Monday. The two lawyers received assistance from four law students with the UofL Human Rights Advocacy Program. They cite the commission’s authority to exc