Hasél case

Youth arrested during Hasél riots remanded

Most protestors arrested on first night of riots released on bail, charged with disobedience

Imma González
3 min
L'advocat Josep Maria Pocino, attending the press in front of the courts of Lleida

LleidaBarcelona's court number 4 has denied bail to one of the protestors arrested last night during the rioting which followed the demonstration against rapper Pablo Hasél's imprisonment. Six more protestors were arrested and have been released on bail under the obligation to appear in court every two weeks. They have been accused of public disorder, criminal damage, assaulting a police officer and battery.

After appearing in the courts of Vic, Lleida and Girona, the fifteen protestors arrested in the first night of demonstrations against the Pablo Hasel's imprisonment have also been released on bail with the obligation to reappear in court whenever they are required to during the investigation. Two more youths were arrested in Girona and are yet to appear before a judge.

Lleida is where there most arrests took place that night. There are seven adults - a minor has already been released - and their lawyer, José Maria Pocino, has denounced this Thursday the "unnecessary" forcefulness of the Catalan police, known as Mossos d'Esquadra, who "gave them a hiding" when they were sheltered in a doorway. Pocino has appeared before the press at the gates of the courts of the city, where, after testifying for public disorder, six of those arrested have been released on bail.

According to Pocino, the seven youths do not know each other and at the end of Tuesday's demonstration they took refuge in a doorway on the Rambla Aragó, in the centre of the city. It was there that the agents found them and, although the youths offered no resistance, they received an "unnecessary attack". All the detainees' injuries have been recorded.

The youngest, who is nineteen years old, is an African boy who has only been in Lleida for three months according to Pocino. "He doesn't even know who Pablo Hasél is," said the lawyer, who also wanted to clarify that the boy had not even attended the rally and that, from the moment of the arrest, "he has been very scared". According to Pocino, the agents searched him "until he was half naked" and, when they found a lighter, they accused him of burning a container, like the rest.

Clearly affected, Pocino has taken the opportunity to show his opposition to this type of action. He accused the Mossos d'Esquadra of being "cowards" and strongly condemned their attitude. "When violence is exercised by the state it is very serious, much more than burning a container," he said. In this sense, and using an obvious irony, he sent his "condolences to the families of the container" and in the same tone he remarked that the fact that the young people have only been accused of burning a single container shows the disproportionality of the police's reaction.

In this sense, Pocino has announced that he will report the facts to the Prosecutor's Office. In relation to the 14 people arrested this Wednesday in the second demonstration in favour of the rapper from Lleida, Pocino has asked that they not be held for the allowed 48 hours: "There is no need for them to spend 48 hours in isolation, they should be released right now," he said.

The lawyer also wanted to send a message of calmness to young people who came to the courts to support the detainees and called for non-violence: "You don't need to put yourselves in danger of imprisonment. You have to show that you can fight without violence". His words have been answered by the spokesperson of the platform Free Pablo Hasél: "We won't to tell people what to do", he declared. The young man has denounced the "systematic violence exercised by the state" and wanted to emphasise that there are many people who do not even attend demonstrations out of fear of receiving a blow from a truncheon. "In the face of their violence, any form of struggle is legitimate, and it is self-defense," he concluded.

On the other hand, thirteen protestors were arrested yesterday in the demonstration that took place in Madrid. They have now all been released on bail, after being charged with assaulting a police officer.