Is Spain Becoming Undemocratic? Why Has It Arrested A Popular Rapper?

Published February 25th, 2021 - 07:10 GMT
Is Spain Becoming Undemocratic? Why Has It Arrested A Popular Rapper?
Artists and activists have been showing solidarity with Hasel in different forms. This mural was painted in Cardedeu by Cinta Vidal. (Twitter: @jotacall)

For more than a week now, hundreds of Barcelona residents have been protesting in the streets against the police and a government decision they have described as anti-democratic, especially after the arrest of popular rapper Pablo Hasél for political reasons.

According to authorities, Catalan-based Hasel's music has been "mocking" the royal family, in addition to "glorifying terrorism." 

However, the arrest of Hasel has been perceived as political revenge from the rapper; known for his anti-government activism. Hasel has been sentenced to 9 months in jail.

Translation: "There are flowers that last a day, just as long as this mural has lasted. @rocblackblock dedicated it to @Pablohasel in Barcelona's Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies, several days after his imprisonment. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. JUSTICE. REPUBLIC."

The arrest of Hasel has not only ignited local protests, some of which have turned violent and caused dozens of invidious to be arrested, but have also inspired many demonstrations in other European cities, where activists have called on the Spanish government to stop persecuting artists for their political views, calling it an anti-democratic act.

Similarly, social media users have expressed solidarity with Hasel online, condemning his arrest and calling for his freedom, under the hashtag #FreePabloHasel.


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