Spanish police arrest rapper Pablo Hasel, convicted in a controversial Freedom of Expression case

Spanish Police arrest rapper Pablo Hasel, convicted in a controversial Freedom of Expression case

Dozens of Spanish police officers stormed a university Tuesday and arrested the rapper Pablo Hasel who had barricaded himself there after being sentenced to prison on charges of glorifying terrorism and insulting the monarchy in his lyrics.

Pablo Hasel and a group of his supporters had taken refuge the day before at the University of Lleida. He had until last Friday to turn himself in to the police and serve a nine-month sentence.

The rapper was convicted in 2018 for lyrics and Twitter messages that included references to banned guerrilla groups, compared a court to the Nazis and called the former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I., a mafioso.

More than 200 artists, including film director Pedro Almodóvar, actor Javier Bardem and singer Joan Manuel Serrat, signed a petition against Hasel’s imprisonment, and the case led the government to announce a certain relaxation of restrictions on freedom expression.

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