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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Spanish Rapper Locks Himself Inside University Building To Avoid Jail In Free Speech Case


A Spanish rapper has locked himself inside a university to avoid a jail sentence for tweets and lyrics that attacked the monarchy and police.


Pablo Hasel was given until last week Friday, February 12, to turn himself in, after being sentenced to nine months imprisonment for glorifying terrorism, and slandering the crown and state institutions with his lyrics and tweets.

 

His tweets and lyrics also accused police of torturing and killing demonstrators and migrants.


In one message Hasel expressed support for Victoria Gómez, a jailed member of the banned Marxist group Grapo. Elsewhere he accused King Felipe VI and his father Juan Carlos, the former king, of several crimes.

 

Spanish rapper Pablo Hasel locks himself inside university building to avoid jail over tweets and lyrics that attacked the monarchy and police

 

Hasel's real name is Pablo Rivadulla Duro. He also backs the campaign for Catalan independence.


On Monday February 15, he tweeted that he is with his supporters inside Lleida University and they will have to enter the University to take him.


"They'll have to break in to take me and jail me," he tweeted .

 

The rapper is in Lleida University is in Catalan province, 150km (90 miles) west of Barcelona. He is with about 20 supporters there.


Adding to the drama, more than 200 artists, including film director Pedro Almodóvar and Hollywood star Javier Bardem, have signed a petition against his jailing.


In 2017, Catalan separatists triggered Spain's biggest political crisis since the death of fascist dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. 


If the court order against Pablo Hasel is finally enforced, he will become the highest-profile person to have actually gone to prison for a speech crime in Spain in recent years. 


In 2018 the rapper Valtònyc had his jail term confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, for glorifying terrorism and insulting the monarchy with his promises of bullets for right-wing politicians and a noose for the king.


Valtònyc, was jailed for three-and-a-half-years in Spain, but he fled to Belgium, where a court decided not to extradite him.


The year before, Twitter user Cassandra Vera had been sentenced to prison for making jokes about the 1973 assassination of Gen Franco's number two, Adm Luis Carrero Blanco, in a bomb attack by Eta Basque militants, although she was acquitted on appeal.

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