Spanish Rapper Pablo Hasel Arrested after Barricading in a University

Spanish rapper Pablo Hasél was arrested after barricading himself inside the Lleida University in Catalonia to escape a nine-month jail sentence for insulting royalty. 

Hasel’s supporters had earlier built a barricade at the university and tried to repel the police before the rapper was arrested in the university rector’s building.

Catalan police said they stormed the university “to enforce the judicial ruling.”

“We will win, they will not bend us with all their repression, never!” said Hasel after he was arrested.

Hasel, who was born as Pablo Rivadulla Duró, barricaded himself for 24-hours after an order for his arrest was issued on Monday when the 10-day period for him to enter prison voluntarily expired last week.

Hasel was convicted of glorifying terrorism and slandering the crown and state institutions which were made illegal under the 2015 amendments to the Public Security Law known as the “Gag Law.”

Hasel’s tweets and music often accused Spanish police of torturing and killing demonstrators and migrants, criticized Spain’s royal family, and praised GRAPO, a Spanish left-wing terrorist group.

Hasel was taken to the nearby Ponent prison, where he will begin serving his sentence.

After Hasel’s arrest, more than  200 artists including the Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and actor Javier Bardem signed a petition defending the rapper and called for his release. 

“The imprisonment of Pablo Hasél leaves the sword hanging over the heads of all public figures who dare to openly criticize the actions of state institutions all the more evident,” said the petition. 

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