Protesters Clash With Police In Barcelona Over Jailed Rapper Pablo Hasel For The Sixth Night.
PROTESTERS threw bottles, stones and rubbish containers at police in Barcelona tonight, Sunday, in the sixth night of clashes after rapper Pablo Hasel was jailed for glorifying terrorism and insulting royalty in his songs.
The nine-month sentence of Pablo Hasel, known for his virulently anti-establishment raps, has prompted debate over freedom of expression in Spain and sparked a wave of protests across the region that have at times turned violent.
“You have taught us that being peaceful is useless,” read a banner carried by protesters.
Five people were arrested for robbing shops and one police officer was injured, according to a Twitter post by the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan regional police force. About 1,000 demonstrators gathered in the city, said local police.
Protesters looted shops on Saturday along Barcelona’s most prestigious shopping street, Passeig de Gracia, while also smashing windows in the Palau de la Musica concert hall’. Five nights of trashed shops and burned containers has caused over 900,000 euros in damages in Barcelona, the city council said.
“Apart from the economic damage, we have suffered damage to the image of Barcelona as a welcoming and peaceful city,” Luis Sans, president of the Association of Friends of Passeig de Gracia, said.
More than 95 people have been arrested across Catalonia and in other Spanish cities since Hasel was arrested and jailed on Tuesday, Feb. 16. One woman lost an eye during clashes in Barcelona, triggering calls from politicians to investigate police tactics.
Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem was among artists, celebrities and politicians who called for a change in the law covering freedom of expression. The Spanish government had said last week it would scrap prison sentences for offences involving cases of freedom of speech.
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