Spain: Protests Erupt After Rapper’s Insults Lead To Prison

Rap singer Pablo Hasél is detained by police officers at the University of Lleida, Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. A 24-hour standoff between police and a rapper barricaded with dozens of his supporters in a university ended with the arrest of the artist, who has been sentenced to 9 months in prison for insulting the monarchy and praising terrorism. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)

(AP) — Violent street protests have erupted in some Spanish cities following the arrest of a rap artist who barricaded himself at a university with dozens of supporters to avoid prison and has portrayed his case as a fight for free speech.

A 24-hour standoff between police and rapper Pablo Hasél ended early Tuesday when anti-riot officers arrested the artist and escorted him out of a Lleida University’s building. Hasél was sent to prison to serve a 9-month sentence for insulting the monarchy and glorifying terrorism.

In Barcelona, several thousand protestors set trash cans on fire and threw rocks at the police on Tuesday night. Smaller demonstrations took place in Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.


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