Submitted by Maria M. Garayoa.
The arrest at the University of Lleida of the Catalan rap singer Pablo Hasél, convicted of “apology for terrorism and insulting the Crown”, has set the streets of Catalonia and Spain ablaze. Hasél has been convicted for the lyrics of a song and a collection of tweets. It is not an isolated case. Three years ago, another Majorcan rap singer, Valtonyc, went into exile in Belgium to avoid prison on the same charges. Spain has the dubious honor of being the country with the most convicted artists in the world, with 15 so far.
When the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was about to die in bed, he said “everything is tied up and well tied up”. He was right. In Spain, the last judges and policemen of the dictatorship became the first judges and policemen of the new democracy. It is not surprising that today the police scour social networks to accuse citizens for their tweets and that judges convict musicians for the lyrics of their songs. Franco died, but Francoism remained in the institutions.
The monarchy itself is a Francoist inheritance. It was the dictator who chose his successor, King Juan Carlos I, father of the current king. Both Hasél and Valtonyc are persecuted for criticizing the Crown. What they criticize has been confirmed by the press all over the world: the former King Juan Carlos is being investigated in Switzerland for the dubious origin of his money. In addition, his son-in-law is in prison for fraudulent dealings. The Spanish monarchy is so weak that the lyrics of the songs make it tremble.
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