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Clashes erupt on the 2nd night of protests over the rappers’ prison

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Hasl barricaded himself in a university building earlier this week to avoid his arrest in a case centered on free speech. After a 24-hour blockade, police picked him up early Tuesday.

He was sent to prison to serve a 9-month sentence for insulting the monarchy and glorifying terrorism in a song about former King Juan Carlos I and in 64 tweets a few years ago.

Hasls’s legal situation has attracted considerable public attention, with performers, celebrities and politicians demanding a change in the law he was convicted of violating.

Amnesty International said the case was the latest in a string of artists and social media personalities being sued for violating the Spains 2015 Public Safety Act, which was passed by a previous Conservative-led government. The law allows has also been criticized for allegedly restricting free assembly and eroding protests.

Some political parties defended the protesters, but others defended police and claimed the violence was caused by vandals.

Initial reports said 30 people were arrested on Wednesday and about 20 people were injured in the demonstrations.

Eighteen people were arrested on Tuesday after violence erupted in the first protests over the arrest of rappers, mainly in Barcelona and other cities in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

A woman lost an eye after being reportedly hit by a police rubber bullet in Barcelona on Tuesday, officials said. Police said about 55 people, both officers and protesters, were treated for minor injuries.

Spanish National Television quoted Barcelona authorities as estimating the damage at 70,000 euros ($ 84,000).

Other demonstrations, some violent, took place in other Spanish cities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In response to protests over the case, the Spanish left-wing coalition government said last week that it planned to change the country’s criminal code to eliminate prison terms for offenses involving freedom of expression.

Hasl faced previous charges of assault, praising armed extremist groups, infiltrating private premises and insulting the monarchy.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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