By Tara Rippin • 16 February 2021 • 11:32
Rapper arrested after barricading himself in a university to avoid jail.
PABLO Hasel was led away from Lleida University at 8am this morning by Barcelona police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, after locking himself away with dozens of supporters yesterday, Tuesday, February 15.
The musician known as Valtónyc should have begun a two-year and nine months sentence on February 13 after being convicted of ‘exalting terrorism and insulting the Crown and State institutions’.
He had warned he would not ‘voluntarily go to prison’ and, true to his word, barricaded himself in the university rectory.
His whereabouts were made known on Twitter by members of the Llibertat platform Pablo Hasel supporters group.
But at 6.30am this morning, police swooped on the university and the rapper’s supporters were dispersed one by one.
But it didn’t go smoothly, and a small group tried to resist being led out of the university, setting off several fire extinguishers.
After almost two hours, Hasel was arrested, without violence, although he refused to sign an arrest document.
Dozens chanted for the musician’s freedom as he was driven through the university gates.
And the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Gazón, also voiced his anger at the arrest.
He tweeted: “Today a singer has been arrested and will be taken to jail after being convicted for some tweets. This is a symptom of serious democratic deficits. And those who deny it do a disservice to what does work well in Spanish democracy, which is also a lot.”
The Podemos account tweeted: “The rapper Pablo Hasel is being arrested. All those who boast of this ‘full democratic normality’ and consider themselves progressive, should be ashamed. Will they cover their eyes? There is no progress if we refuse to recognise the current democratic deficits”
The singer will spend between two and five days in the prison admissions module before being transferred.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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