Belgian court rejects Spanish extradition request for rapper Valtonyc

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SAFE HAVEN: Valtonyc has been given protection by Belgium. Photo Credit: Fotomovimiento/Flickr

A REQUEST from Spain for the extradition of a rapper who has been sentenced to prison for charges including insulting the monarchy, has been rejected by a Belgian court.

Josep Miquel Arenas, 24, who goes by the stage name Valtonyc, fled to Belgium in May after being given a three and a half year jail term for his controversial lyrics, in which he praised terror groups.

“For the moment he is free and he is definitively in Belgium,” his lawyer said on Monday.

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However, Bekaert admitted that Valtonyc would not be safe from a European Arrest Warrant, should he visit other countries in the future.

Amnesty International has criticised the handling of the rapper’s case, claiming that the Spanish authorities are restricting free speech.

Cases like Valtonyc’s are based on article 578 of the Spanish penal code, and the approval of new security legislation in 2015 has led to more people being charged.

Spain’s new Socialist government has said one of its priorities is the revision of the “gag law.”

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