March 2, 2021


Pablo Hasél is loved throughout his home country of Spain. Hasél is a 33-year-old rapper, poet, and political activist. His activism from 2018 has caused him to be jailed and criminally sentenced to nine months in prison.

Pablo Hasél Criticizes the Monarchy

Pablo Hasél turned to social media to state his disgust of the current Spanish monarchy. In addition to this, Hasél also pledged his support for a Basque separatist group. The Basque separatist group is one of the direct threats to the Spanish crown.

Following Hasél’s comments, Spanish police showed up to arrest the rapper. Since Hasél is so popular throughout the country, his fans took notice of his jailing. This caused multiple protests where citizens were criticizing their rights to free speech.

The Protests

The main protests took place in the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Girona. Thousands of Hasél supporters have flocked to the streets to denounce the monarchy and their treatment of the rapper publicly.

The protests would start peaceful and then take a violent turn as the sun went down. These protests began on Tuesday and are continuing throughout Spain. The violent demonstrations have caused multiple people to be arrested by the Spanish police forces.

Hasél expressed his discontent for the Spanish monarchy in 2018, but he was not arrested until Tuesday. Spanish forces detained him because he did not follow the deadline to turn himself in from his 2018 violation.

Hasél knew that the day was coming, so he secured himself inside Lleida University in Barcelona. Once he did not turn himself in on time, police took over the school and arrested Hasél.

As Hasél was being arrested, he kept saying, “They will never silence us…death to the fascist state!” This media statement provoked Hasél’s supporters and caused them to take to the streets this entire week.

Under Spanish law, a citizen cannot criticize the crown in any capacity. This week, there have been more criticisms than police can handle to jail citizens. People have been throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

This has caused police to retaliate with non-lethal weapons to contain the riots. The photos that have been released display the Spanish cities on fire. The largest and most violent riot took place in Girona, where crowds were as large as 5,000 people.

Will Pablo Hasél be Able to Appeal

Spain enacted the Public Security Law in 2015, which banned remarks criticizing the crown. In May 2020, the Spanish Supreme Court upheld the 2018 conviction of Hasél. This was when Hasél’s time began to turn himself into the Spanish police.

Hasél has a lot of support in the country, including famous actors and musicians. This could help his chances of serving a limited prison sentence. However, he did break Spanish law because he supported a terrorist group and denounced the Spanish monarchy.

The demonstrations have caused the Spanish government to rework the law only to criminalize violent actions, but this is unlikely to help Hasél because of his unwillingness to turn himself into the monarchy.

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