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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Pablo Hasel, the rapper imprisoned for insulting the crown of Spain, has served his sentence… but he will not be released from prison

Symbol of an intense debate on freedom of expression in Spain, Pablo Hasel has served the sentence for which he was initially imprisoned. He reports a kidnapping.

Arrested in February 2021 to serve a two-year prison sentence (reduced to 9 months), the Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel has still not been released. And rightly so, convicted for the first time for songs in 2014, Pablo Hasel had suffered the wrath of the Spanish justice in 2018 for apology of terrorism, insults and slander against the crown. In a series of tweets, the Lleida rapper criticized the monarchy and the police.

He is, along with Valtonyc, another Catalan rapper, the symbol of a particularly limited freedom of expression in Spain. Also convicted of songs, Valtonyc has lived in exile in Brussels for four years.

Pablo Hasel decided to serve his sentence. If he was 9 months old at the beginning, Hasel (34 years old) has been sentenced several times since then. Thus he threatened a witness who exonerated a police officer accused of having beaten a protester who had come to support him. He had also attacked a journalist at rallies denouncing his first conviction.

In the end, Pablo Hasel will have to remain 4 more years in prison when, on March 17, he marked the end of his first sentence.

“A kidnapping of Spanish justice”

On this particular day, Pablo Hasel published a message on social networks denouncing “a kidnapping of Spanish justice.” For him, the Spanish justice system fights to “hide that they locked me up for the song ‘Juan Carlos el Bobón’ and dozens of tweets recounting proven facts about the monarchy, police brutality and political prisoners.”

And report false convictions to keep him in prison. “But to keep me kidnapped for longer, they recently signed a new three-year sentence for having denounced in the networks the unpunished beating that a colleague received from a Lleida urban guard. Another serious violation of freedom of expression that is used to imprison again for telling the truth, in addition, they also sentenced me for non-existent and therefore unproven threats, a fascist collaborator of the police who came to attack me at my home and who had acted as a false witness in the trial of the city guard who beat up my friend”.

Hasel says he will serve his full six years in prison. “Regardless of the years that remain in prison, I will continue to defend the rights and freedoms that this profoundly undemocratic State takes from us, whose government perpetuates.” And he adds: “I will defend the freedom of all the imprisoned fighters who demand total amnesty. Their repression not only does not win when we do not allow the fight to subside and intensify, but it can also weaken them in the streets and in jail: long live the resistance!”.

In his song, “Juan Carlos el Bobon”, Pablo Hasel portrays the Emeritus King of Spain as “the boss of the mafia that plunders the Spanish kingdom”. And through his words he denounces facts that will cost him, a few years later, his throne to Juan Carlos. “How many millions and millions… have plundered and squandered for so many years… so many members of the royal family.”


Stephane Sicard

Source: L Independant

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