Peaceful Barcelona rally for jailed rapper devolves into clashes

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A number of thousand took to the streets for a fifth straight day in Barcelona and elsewhere to protest in opposition to the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasel.

A fifth night time of peaceable protests to denounce the imprisonment of Spanish rap artist Pablo Hasel has as soon as extra devolved into clashes between police and the members of fringe teams who arrange road barricades and smashed storefront home windows in central Barcelona.

Small teams made up largely of younger folks started their nightly cat-and-mouse recreation with officers on Saturday night, an hour after a number of thousand protesters gathered within the capital of the Catalonia area, which additionally was the place the worst violence befell throughout earlier demonstrations this week.

On Saturday, rioters looted shops on Barcelona’s foremost buying road after which threw stones after police in riot gear poured out of vans to have interaction them.

Tons of additionally gathered in Spain’s capital, Madrid, and tons of extra marched within the northeast city of Lleida, the place Hasel was arrested on Tuesday and brought away to start serving a nine-month jail sentence for insulting the Spanish monarchy and allegedly glorifying “terrorism” in his music.

A demonstrator kicks a window of a store as supporters of arrested Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel protest in Barcelona, Spain, February 20, 2021[Albert Gea/Reuters]

Some 80 folks have been arrested and greater than 100 folks injured since Hasel’s arrest.

The dysfunction seems to have come from a fringe group of primarily youthful individuals who constituted a small share of the hundreds of individuals who joined in marches to help Hasel and to oppose the Spanish legal guidelines used to prosecute him.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau appealed for calm.

“Defending the liberty of expression doesn’t justify in any case the destruction of property, horrifying our fellow residents and hurting companies already damage by the disaster” attributable to the pandemic, the mayor stated.

Madrid municipal authorities stated that 300 Nationwide Law enforcement officials have been referred to as as much as help metropolis police.

Supporters of arrested Catalan rapper Pablo Hasel protest in Barcelona, Spain, on February 20, 2021 [Albert Gea/Reuters]

On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez denounced violent protests saying “violence is an assault on democracy”. The feedback got here after Sanchez’s junior coalition companions the far-left United We Can (Unidas Podemos), introduced their help for the protesters and referred to as for a “complete pardon” of Hasel.

The rapper’s case has drawn appreciable public consideration, with artists, celebrities and politicians expressing help for a change within the nation’s so-called “gag legislation”, which covers freedom of expression and which Hasel was convicted of violating.

Critics say the legislation curtails free meeting and muzzles dissent.

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