Freedom of expression

Public Prosecutor's Office opposes pardon for Pablo Hasél

It argues that the musician "has reoffended" in offences "such as glorifying terrorism"

2 min
Pablo Hasél leaves the University of Lleida detained by the Mossos

BarcelonaThe Public Prosecutor's Office of Spain's High Court opposes the request of the Catalan Academy of Music to grant a pardon to Pablo Hasél. The public ministry argues that Hasél has been convicted "for multiple criminal acts" and stresses that in some cases, "such as the crime of glorification of terrorism, there is recidivism". To justify its position - which is mandatory, but not binding, although in general it marks the decision that the council of ministers usually takes when it grants the measure of grace - the Prosecutor's Office also relies on a report of conduct of the Ponent prison, where Hasél is imprisoned. The text explains that since the rapper entered prison no disciplinary proceedings have been opened against him, and "has always shown a correct attitude and adaptation to the rules". Given his good behaviour, the penitentiary proposed him to start an individual treatment program (PIT), but Hasél opposed it, which the prosecution also used to argue against the pardon.

The Catalan Academy of Music asked for Hasél's pardon arguing that the proven facts in the High Court and Supreme Court's sentences "do not go beyond the limits considered criminal, nor can they be considered criminal, nor do they threaten the protected legal rights". Unidas Podemos also requested it, arguing that "he is unjustly convicted of crimes that violate the right to freedom of expression, according to human rights standards". The assessment of the Public Prosecutor's Office, however, only refers to the request of the Catalan Academy of Music. The Plataforma Llibertat Pablo Hasél believes that UP should never have actually filed the petition. They also state that neither Hasél nor his defense will ask for the pardon "because it is accompanied by asking for forgiveness more or less explicitly and the renunciation of our revolutionary ideas and principles", they say, citing the "surrender" of the leaders of the Catalan independence bid as an example.

A pending decision by the Spanish government

Pablo Hasél is the first musician imprisoned in the Spanish state for his songs since the Transition to Democracy. The rapper entered prison in February after being sentenced by the High Court - in a sentence ratified by the Supreme Court - to nine months and one day in prison for crimes of glorifying terrorism and insulting the Crown. Hasél was also sentenced with several fines that, as he did not pay them, resulted in more days in prison. In total, the artist will have to be deprived of liberty for two years, four months and 15 days.

However, the decision of the Prosecutor's Office does not close the way for Hasél to get a pardon. This measure of grace is granted by the Spanish government after hearing the court that sentenced the rapper. Even if the High Court or the Public Prosecutor's Office opposes it, the Spanish government could accept Hasél's pardon if it considers that he deserves it.