Tuesday, April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021

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Spain: Peaceful protests for jailed rapper see more clashes

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Two women sit on a chair in front of burning barricades made by demonstrators during a protest condemning the arrest of rap singer Pablo Hasel in Barcelona, Spain, Friday.
Two women sit on a chair in front of burning barricades made by demonstrators during a protest condemning the arrest of rap singer Pablo Hasel in Barcelona, Spain, Friday. (Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A fifth night of peaceful protests to denounce the imprisonment of a Spanish rap artist once more devolved into clashes between police and the members of fringe groups who set up street barricades and smashed storefront windows Saturday night in downtown Barcelona.

Small groups made up mostly of young people began their nightly cat-and-mouse game with officers an hour after several thousand protesters gathered in the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, which also was where the worst violence took place during earlier demonstrations this week over rapper Pablo Hasel’s detention.

Police were pelted by rocks after a march in the Catalan town of Lleida, where Hasel spent 24 hours barricaded a university building before police took him away to serve a 9-month prison sentence for insulting the Spanish monarchy and praising terrorist violence in his music.

Catalonia’s regional police force said there also was defiance in the city of Tarragona, where groups threw glass bottles at police lines and smashed store windows.

On Saturday, some rioters damaged scattered stores on Barcelona’s main shopping street and threw stones after police in riot gear poured out of vans to engage them.

The disorder appears have come a fringe group of mainly younger people who constituted a small share of the thousands of participants who joined in marches to support Hasel and to oppose the Spanish laws used to prosecute him.

Around 80 people have been arrested and more than 100 people injured since Hasel’s arrest on Tuesday.

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