Why have rapper Pablo Hasel been arrested?

Pablo Hasel was arrested after having barricaded himself in the rectory of the University of Lleida with fifty of his followers to avoid or, at least, hinder his entry into prison as much as possible. The rapper has been sentenced to 9 months in jail for exalting terrorism and insulting the monarchy.

“It is a resolution that is firm,” highlights the spokesperson for Judges and Judges for Democracy, Ascensión Martín. The also magistrate of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Murcia, points out that “if there is a sentence that condemns him, he has to go to prison. “” The sentences are to be carried out because he could incur another crime that is disobedience to authority. “recalls the spokeswoman.

The Hasel case has gained more impact after 200 artists released a manifesto to defend the rapper. Artists such as Serrat, Javier Bardem, Vetusta Morla, Fernando Trueba or Emma Suárez and directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, have demanded during these days “their freedom, as well as that these types of crimes be expelled from the Penal Code”

Amnesty International has also ruled on this case. “No one should be criminally prosecuted just for expressing himself on social media or for singing something that may be disgusting or scandalous. Expressions that do not clearly and directly incite violence cannot be penalized. If these articles are not modified, freedom of expression will continue to be silenced and artistic manifestations will be restricted “, Esteban Beltrán, director of Amnesty International Spain, has pointed out. For the international organization “It is unfair and disproportionate for Pablo Hasel to go to jail.”

Three magistrates dissented from the sentence

For the professor of Criminal Law at the Carlos III University, Jacobo Dopico, who supports the votes of the dissident magistrates of the sentence: “From the courts themselves, there are already dissenting votes that have said of this conviction that in none of the three aspects, that neither in insults to the king, nor in insults to the police nor in glorification of terrorism can the Spanish legal system be considered a conduct criminal ”. Dopico is also the director of the Libex.es projectY highlights: “There is a very widespread jurisprudence and it is a bit scandalous because it goes against the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and the European Court. We have decades of resolutions on crimes of incendiary speech.”

Dopico alludes to the 11 tweets on which the prison sentence weighs and that have to do according to the sentence with the crime of glorifying terrorism_: “The reference sentence at this point is 112/2016 of the Spanish Constitutional Court, this sentence says that the crime of glorifying terrorism can only be applied when we encounter conduct that praises or justifies terrorism and whether such conduct is suitable to incite others to commit crimes “_. Dopico does not see through the tweets that there is an incitement.

The professor of Criminal Law at the Carlos III University also supports the vote of the dissident magistrates who also do not agree that there are crimes of insults against the monarchy or the police: “The Human Rights Court says that we are talking about public figures where the capacity for political criticism must attenuate the repressive response. The protection of honor in public figures is attenuated because public debate cannot be stifled with respect to them. “ In such a way that it is difficult for Dopico to understand that Hasel’s statements about the king are a crime, “collected by the sentence as the basis of the sentence.”

In conclusion, for Dopico: “The conduct is an atypical non-criminal conduct and in this case no penalty is appropriate as the dissident magistrates say because it is conduct that cannot be punished without violating freedom of expression.”

The second sentence could not be suspended

This sentence comes after he was tried again in 2018 for the same crime for which he was already convicted in 2014. This meant that the Chamber, which had already suspended the execution of a first sentence for three years, had in its second case consider that he committed the crime again.

Although Hasel’s lawyers asked for the sentence to be suspended in this case, it was not considered due to his “criminal record”. The Penal Code allows, exceptionally, to suspend prison sentences that do not exceed two years in prison, provided that they are not habitual prisoners.

Could the musician benefit from a new change in the Penal Code?

For now Hasel will have to spend his days behind bars until he can benefit from a change in the law. A modification that is now being debated in the Government of Spain. The Ministry of Justice proposed a revision of the Spanish Penal Code to eliminate certain aspects that would prevent a case like that of rapper Pablo Hasel from being repeated. The Government communicated a few days ago through a note that “The Ministry of Justice will propose a review of crimes related to excesses in the exercise of freedom of expression so that only conduct that clearly involves creating a risk to public order or provoking some type of violent conduct is punished, with dissuasive penalties, but not deprivation of liberty “.

“With retroactive effect, any legislation that is new and more favorable, of course it would have an impact,” says Ascensión Martín. Before, the law would have to be modified. “If the criminal type is modified or is abolished or meets other requirements, everything that benefits the defendant or the convicted person is applied retroactively”.