Harassment of Pablo Hasél by Spanish government/police continues with rapper’s latest arrest in Leida, Spain

Pablo Hasél — photo Nikone Cons, Creative Commons license

Police storm Spanish university to arrest rapper Pablo Hasél

This is Spain today. A country I have always loved, and one I have spent several years of my life in when you add up all the month-long vacations I have taken in the last 40 years.

A country now sending police to storm a university to arrest a RAPPER for the lyrics in his songs, and to condemn him to 9-months in jail, and six years’ disqualification from employment in the public sector.

The rapper is Pablo Hasél, a talented artist the Spanish government and Spanish police have been harassing under the country’s medieval Criminal Code for years. Their reasoning?

According to the Spanish government, Pablo Hasél has “glorified terrorism” in the lyrics of his songs.

(And what an abysmal government Spain now has, with its consistent removal of basic human rights due to its strict restrictions over Covid-19. Restrictions that have destroyed that country’s economic future for years to come, as well as caused the aftermath of Covid in human terms to be far worse than it ever would have been had Covid just been allowed to run its course).

Oh, and Hasél was also found guilty of “insulting the monarchy”. The same corrupt Spanish monarch (King Juan Carlos), I might add that is now in exile because of his shady and patently illegal business dealings with Saudi Arabia.

That monarch.

(continue reading below….but listen to Hasél’s music first)


Who is Pablo Hasél?

Pablo Hasél is a Catalan rapper, so right there he is someone the current Spanish government has a problem with, considering Catalan has been trying to gain independence from Spain for years. An independence Hasél supports.

Hasél is also an artist who was first arrested in 2011 for the lyrics of his song ‘Democracia su Puta Madre’, which you can listen to in the video below.

A song, ironically now, about censorship and how, even though it exists, it will never stop people from believing in freedom and wanting and fighting for their human rights.

Pablo Hasél’s ‘Democracia su Puta Madre’ also names governments, like that of the United States and Israel, as the real terrorists and not the people fighting for their freedom in those systems.

In many respects (the United States’ murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the Israeli government’s abuse and murder of Palestinian children), he is correct.

Three years later, Hasél was given a three-year prison sentence for the lyrics of 10 songs that praised groups like GRAPOETAAl Qaeda, the Red Army Faction and Terra Lliure.

Lyrics that, to anyone who understands artists, were not glorifying terrorism but born out of frustration about Spain’s corrupt monarch, who Hasél called “a Mafia boss”, the equally corrupt various Spanish governments (Spain’s People’s Party, anyone?), and the way in which the average Spaniard is having his or her rights taken away on a daily basis, and has had both during General Franco’s years in power and afterward.

Pablo Hasél’s latest arrest, however, is not because of the lyrics in his songs but due to several tweets he made on Twitter about King Juan Carlos, Spanish courts and authorities in Spain.

Tweets the Spanish government states, “glorify terrorism” or insult the monarchy. (Again, the same monarchy whose disgraced king is now in exile).


Weeks ago, Hasél was ordered to present himself to Spanish authorities to serve a nine-month prison sentence for these ‘crimes’, something he refused to do saying in a tweet, “Tendrán que venir a secuestrarme” (“they will have to kidnap me.”), which, of course, Spanish police did last night.

An arrest for a conviction that was decried by Amnesty International as a violation of Hasél’s human rights, with the Director of Amnesty International Spain saying it:

No one should face criminal prosecution only for expressing themselves on social media or for singing something that may be distasteful or shocking. Expressions that do not clearly and directly incite violence cannot be criminalised.”
Esteban Beltrán, Director of Amnesty International Spain

And a conviction that more than 200 Spanish artists, including filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and actor Javier Bardem signed a petition against.

Pablo Hasél’s arrest at the University of Lleida, Spain yesterday, which apparently demanded Spanish police “storming” the building to arrest a RAPPER (the insanity of this is beyond belief in a so-called democracy), shows how medieval Spanish human rights continue to be, and how a massive overhaul of the country’s Criminal Code is needed.

Until that happens, and as pressure continues to be placed the Spanish government it eventually will be, you can support Pablo Hasél by listening to his music.

(And you might want to do that now, before the Spanish government decides listening to his music “glorifies terrorism” as well, and files charges against you. Honestly, with the mindset of current prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s government, stranger things have happened).

A shame, I might add, as Spain is a wonderful country and deserves much better governments than it has been getting.

You can do that on Pablo Hasél’s YouTube channel (let the ads run to help him earn money to pay for the fines Spanish authorities assess against him).

You can also download some of his songs for free via Mediafire. Songs from a group of works, some of which, the artist claims, were stolen by Spanish police.

** And as an aside, in no way do I support anyone that promotes terrorist acts in Spain or anywhere else. And that would also be the case with Pablo Hasél if that was what he was doing. But he’s not.

 I will, however, always support musicians that are doing nothing but exercising their right of free speech by speaking out against the actions of a government, or other governmental authorities, regardless that specific governments and specific authorities may not like that.


About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered K-drama, K-pop, J-pop and music news for over a decade.