Portuguese take to streets to call for Spanish rapper’s release

Over 100 people gathered outside the Spanish Consulate in Portuguese capital Lisbon on Friday in support of Spanish rapper Pablo Hasél.

Hasél was taken to prison earlier this month for allegedly glorifying terrorism and insulting Spain’s King in his lyrics, and faces nine months in prison.

Protestors in Lisbon, who wore masks and maintained social distancing due to Covid-19, handed in a petition to the consulate calling for his release, signed by over 4,500 people.

“The world of music, art and culture wanted to give a signal because today he is a rapper on the other side of the border, tomorrow it could be here in Portugal,” Luís Batista, a subscriber of the petition, told Lusa.

The protest was organised by the Freedom Platform Pablo Hásel in “political and humanitarian solidarity” with the Catalan singer, who back in 2014 and 2016 was convicted due to publishing a song on Youtube and posts on Twitter accusing the Spanish security forces of torture and homicides.

Earlier this month, Hasél barricaded himself at the University of Lérida, in his hometown in Catalonia, in the company of a group of supporters, but the Catalan police took him prison, sparking a wave of protests in Spain.