On Sunday, February 7th, urban artists took to the streets in the Parque de las Tres Chimeneas, Barcelona to paint against the imprisonment of rapper Pablo Hasel, arrested for ‘exalting terrorism’ with his song lyrics and tweets.
Fifteen artists (Roc Blackblock, Antón Seoane, El Rughi, Magia Trece, Doctor Toy, El Edu, Galleta María, Kader, Maga, Owen, Reskate, Chamo San, Sigrid Amores, Tres Voltes Rebel, Arte Porvo, Elna Or, among others) participated in the mural event intending to draw attention to the gravity of what is happening in Spain, a country with more than 40 years of democracy where, as of today, there are more people imprisoned or sentenced for expressing their ideas than anywhere else in the world (14 in 2019).
The artists paint to protect freedom of speech and to support Pablo Hasel…
In less than 24 hours, the mural made by the artist Roc Blackblock was covered by cleaning workers from the City Council, accompanied by policemen. It is the only mural that was censored.
Hasél’s sentence, and other jailings, are having a chilling effect on freedom of speech. Amnesty International
Pablo Hasel jailing is the most extreme example yet of a worrying sign that Spain’s judicial system is punishing people not for what they have done, but what they have said, sung, tweeted or drawn.
Photo credit Fer Alcalá