Riots that played out across Spain for the third night in a row over the jailing of rapper Pablo Hasél show a growing appetite for dissent, and are further proof that the shadow of former dictator Francisco Franco – dead for nearly 50 years now – has cast a long shadow.
Hasél now finds himself locked up for a series of tweets that, among other things, called former King Juan Carlos a Mafia boss – he’s currently living in exile as a national disgrace – and accused police of torturing and killing demonstrators and migrants.
In a belated attempt to meet protesters’ demands, Spanish Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo pledged reform – not repeal – of the hated 2015 Public Security Law, which has been used to curtail free assembly and muzzle protest. However, he made no mention of freeing the imprisoned Hasél.
Instead, in a highly provocative move, the Catalonia court authorities doubled down on the controversial decision to jail the rapper by declaring that they are looking to extend his prison sentence for a further 30 months for having committed an assault and obstructed justice in 2017.Spanish riots escalate: free speech crackdown and rapper’s jailing reveal struggle to escape Franco’s legacy – The Free