Demonstrators confronted off with Barcelona police on Sunday, the sixth consecutive night time of protests in assist of a controversial rapper jailed over incendiary tweets.
Whereas a bunch of masked protesters threw bottles, firecrackers and different missiles at officers guarding Barcelona’s police headquarters, Sunday’s rally was calmer than on earlier nights, when the demonstrations escalated into violent clashes.
Shouting “Freedom for Pablo Hasel”, a number of hundred folks gathered beneath a heavy police presence in entrance of the principle practice station earlier than marching into the town centre.
Some protesters arrange barricades on the town’s Las Ramblas boulevard and lobbed objects at police, with at the least 5 folks arrested for smashing the home windows of a clothes retailer and injuring an officer, police stated on Twitter.
Greater than 100 folks have been arrested in Barcelona and different cities in Spain’s northern Catalan area since Tuesday, when indignant demonstrations erupted after police detained 32-year-old Hasel and took him to jail to begin serving a nine-month sentence in a extremely contentious free speech case.
Saturday’s unrest noticed protesters smash their approach into retailers alongside Barcelona’s glitzy Passeig de Gracia purchasing avenue, looting shops equivalent to Nike, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Diesel.
Recognized for his hard-left views, Hasel was handed a nine-month sentence over tweets glorifying terrorism and movies inciting violence. The courtroom ruling stated freedom of expression couldn’t be used “as a ‘clean cheque’ to reward the perpetrators of terrorism”.
He was additionally fined about 30,000 euros ($36,000) for insults, libel and slander for tweets likening former king Juan Carlos I to a mafia boss and accusing police of torturing and killing demonstrators and migrants.
His case has turn out to be a trigger celebre amongst campaigners, who say that jailing him is a disproportionate response and a harmful assault on free speech.