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Protests Erupt over Spanish Rapper Arrested for Anti-Monarchy Lyrics and Tweets

HeadlineFeb 17, 2021

In Spain, the arrest of a rapper over his song lyrics and tweets has sparked protests and fierce scrutiny over the government’s control on freedom of speech. Pablo Hasél was arrested Tuesday after barricading himself inside a university to avoid serving a prison term for “glorifying terrorism” and insulting the monarchy. Hasél referred to former King Juan Carlos as a “drunken tyrant” and showed support for the Basque separatist group ETA, among other charges. This is Hasél speaking from inside the university where he was barricaded.

Pablo Hasél: “Either we have an overwhelming and organized response to these severe attacks from the state, or they will keep cutting our most fundamental rights and freedoms. We have to stop this. There might be people thinking that this does not affect them directly, but of course it does. When one of us loses a right, the working class as a whole loses it.”

In response to the public outcry over Hasél’s case, the Spanish government has said it will ease its restrictions on free speech

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