Barcelona rocked the fifth night of unrest over the rapper’s prison

Protesters threw bottles at police, set fire to containers and smashed shops in Barcelona on Saturday in a fifth night of clashes after a rapper was jailed for glorifying terrorism and insulting royalty in his songs.

Protesters threw bottles at police, set fire to containers and smashed shops in Barcelona on Saturday in a fifth night of clashes after a rapper was jailed for glorifying terrorism and insulting royalty in his songs.

Pablo Hasel’s nine-month sentence, known for his violent anti-establishment reports, has sparked a debate on freedom of expression in Spain as well as protests that have sometimes become violent.

Protesters hurled projectiles and stains at police, who fired foam bullets to disperse the crowd, said Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan regional police, on Twitter.

About 6,000 protesters gathered in the city, local police said.

Protesters attacked shops on Barcelona’s most prestigious shopping street, Passeig de Gracia, while El Pais newspaper reported that others had smashed windows in the iconic Palau de la Musica concert hall.

Nine people were arrested in Catalonia, regional police said, including three minors.

Some were arrested for looting shops in Barcelona, ​​local police said.

Nine people were injured, two of whom were taken to hospital, police say.

A demonstration in Madrid was peaceful, but in the northern cities of Pamplona and Lleida, police accused protesters.

Earlier, Socialist Party President Cristina Narbona condemned the violence, which has marked protests over the past four nights.

“We reiterate our strongest condemnation of violence that cannot be justified as a defense of freedom of expression,” she said.

Media take pictures as protesters storm a bank branch during a protest condemning the arrest of rap singer Pablo Hasél in Barcelona, ​​Spain, on Friday, February 19, 2021. pic.twitter.com/XgmIhaKcXs

– Emilio Morenatti (@EmilioMorenatti) February 19, 2021

Officials said four people were injured in Barcelona on Friday after protesters threw police at projectiles, attacked two banks and burned containers. Protesters caused 128,000 euros (156,000 dollars) in damages, the city council said.

More than 60 people have been arrested throughout Catalonia, police say. A woman lost an eye during clashes in Barcelona and triggered politicians to investigate police tactics.

Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem was among artists, celebrities and politicians who demanded a change in the law that covers freedom of expression. The Spanish government announced last week that it would abolish prison sentences for crimes related to freedom of expression.

(REUTERS)