Conflicts & War

Third night of riots in Spain as protesters demand release of jailed rapper

Madrid, Feb 19 (efe-epa).- At least sixteen people were arrested and six were injured on Thursday as protesters took to the streets of several Spanish cities for the third consecutive night to demand the release of jailed rapper Pablo Hasél.

The musician was detained on Tuesday after barricading himself inside the Lleida university building to avoid arrest.

Riots, in which two of the injured were police officers, were especially violent in Barcelona and Valencia.

Hasél -real name Pablo Rivadulla- was handed a two-year prison sentence and fined nearly 30,000 euros by Spain’s National Court in 2018 after judges found him guilty of glorifying the now-defunct Basque terrorist group Eta and slandering the royal family, the police and the court system in a series of tweets and some of his lyrical content.

His sentence was later reduced to nine months on appeal.

His imprisonment has been criticised by numerous renowned Spanish artists, such as actor Javier Bardem and director Pedro Almodóvar, and organizations like Amnesty International.

The Spanish Government has committed to reviewing the legislation on the limits to freedom of speech to ensure that certain opinions expressed in an artistic context are not punished with a prison sentence. EFE/EPA


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