Spain’s National Court has added 16 months to the ongoing jail terms of rapper Pablo Hasel, whose detention nearly a month ago galvanized a wave of protests over freedom of speech across Catalonia, which occasionally descended into confrontations with the police. On 16 February, Hasel was arrested and sent to jail to serve a 2 year and 9 month sentence for glorifying terrorism and slandering the Spanish crown in his lyrics and tweets.
The National Court announced on Friday that it was adding 16 months to Hasel’s imprisonment after he failed to pay €30,000 in fines derived from a separate case, also carrying a similar conviction. The court fined him €5,040 for glorifying terrorism, and ruled that the rapper should spend 84 days in prison if he didn’t pay. Hasel faces six extra months in jail for not paying a €10,800 fine for insulting the monarchy, and seven months and 15 days in exchange for a €13,500 fine for slandering Spain’s institutions.
More than a hundred people were arrested in the several nights of unrest against Hasel’s imprisonment. A local court in Barcelona confirmed the precautionary imprisonment of eight Italian citizens, who are accused of public disorders and attempting to burn a police van with an officer inside. A young Scotsman is also kept in jail without charge.
Dozens of people required medical treatment for clashes with police, including a young woman who lost an eye after being hit with a foam bullet shot by an officer. A public debate on the role of law enforcement in Catalonia was reignited, and prompted pro-independence parties to pledge a deep reform of the Mossos d’Esquadra police.
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