Hasél case
Society 23/02/2021

Seventh demonstration over Hasél incarceration dissolves with fewer disturbances

Some demonstrators throw objects at the Via Laietana police station, in an action that lasted a few minutes

2 min
A barricade burning in Girona street in Barcelona

BarcelonaHundreds of people gathered in front of Arc de Triomf in Barcelona in the seventh night of protests against the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél. The protest saw fewer demonstrators, with rain dampening the spirits and attendees, mostly young people, huddled under the monument. There they improvised rap songs and headed towards Marqués de l'Argentera street in the midst of a festive atmosphere in which chants in favor of the republic and against the monarchy could be heard.

When they arrived at Via Laietana, isolated groups threw objects at the National Police station, which was closed but had less police presence than on previous occasions. But at no time has the tension risen in intensity, nor have there been charges or disturbances as in previous nights.

The protest had been called by Committees for the Defence of the Republic, the pro-independence organisations behind the protests at Prat Airport in 2019. The call was shared through social networks on Telegram channel La partida final [The final game], and the CDRs sought to dissociate themselves from the looting of "small shops" that occurred during some of the previous demonstrations.

In the morning, the Plataforma Llibertat Pablo Hasél made a call "to the combative action" of the people who attend the demonstrations to demand the freedom of the singer and rapper. In this sense, they ask to attend the assemblies and calls in the coming days to "organise the rage", since they consider that they cannot be locked at home.

"He will not work for free in prison"

At a press conference in front of the Ponent Penitentiary Center, where Hasél is imprisoned, his lawyer explained that the Lleida rapper refuses to participate in the tasks of cleaning the prison as a gesture of protest in favor of the rights of prisoners to live with good conditions. "Two people living without privacy in tiny cells is not dignified and, if they force him, he could refuse to enter," said Alejandra Matamoros.

The prison regulations leave these tasks of cleaning showers, dining room service or distribution of blankets, at the will of the inmates to get some benefits, such as parole or transfer to an open prison regime. According to the defence, Hasél, who has not yet been assigned a definitive module, does not want to collaborate for free. "If the prison does not have enough officials, they should hire more people, but they will never do it for free, because prison is not a place for the State to continue exploiting you," the lawyer stressed, who said the rapper has integrated in a supposed "group of political prisoners, anti-fascists and communists".

Matamoros also lamented the smear campaign against the rapper after his arrest a week ago. She recalled that the conviction for assaulting a local policeman in Lleida is not final and said that his imprisonment is due to crimes of opinion for the lyrics of his songs and not for other rulings that, she said, are not yet final. For Matamoros, this campaign is due to the fact that the state wants to divert the media focus from freedom of expression, for which "thousands of people are demonstrating every day".

According to the platform in support of Pablo Hasél, the demonstrations in recent days to demand the rapper's freedom have forced the state to show its "true face", the most "terrorist and violent", through the police and media apparatus. They assure that they are ready to show the whole world that they are capable "of stifling any democratic and critical call".

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