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Orioles-Cuba Game Abuses Probed

June 11, 1999

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Gov. Parris Glendening has requested an investigation into complaints of human rights abuses during the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban national team.

Florida Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart wrote Glendening last month that ``abusive tactics were used to suppress the freedom of expression of numerous spectators″ during the game at Camden Yards on May 3.

Glendening wrote to Diaz-Balart on May 27, saying he would ask that Bruce Hoffman, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority, work with the Orioles to investigate the complaints.

Diaz-Balart wrote that several Cuban-American activists had told him that stadium personnel and police ``were instructed to prevent Cuban-Americans from displaying banners or chanting between innings.″

The letter says a group known as Mothers and Women Against Repression were approached numerous times during the game. They were told their banners and flags would be confiscated and they would be ejected from the stadium if they continued to display them and chant between innings.

After a Cuban umpire threw an anti-Castro protester to the ground, the women were again approached by security. Several of the women were forced from the stadium and two were threatened with mace when they questioned police, the letter says.

It says spectators who were part of the Cuban delegation were allowed to chant without being issued warnings.

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