The Parliament of Catalonia debates a motion for the immediate release of rapper Pablo Hasél

As well as demanding the release of Pablo Hasél, Parliament also calls for the suppression of the crime of insult to the Crown and for all criminal cases against political, intellectual or artistic expressions to be dropped

Pablo Hasél is in prison for saying what we all know, that the Spanish monarchy is corrupt by nature,” said Esquerra Republicana Member of the Catalan Parliament (MCP) Pau Morales from the floor of Parliament. “The walls, the streets, the social gatherings, the networks and the young say so, and so have the media, the Swiss judiciary and this very Parliament,” he said. Therefore, “that the Bourbons are corrupt is not an opinion; it is information. And no matter how much they try to hide it or threaten this Parliament, the truth is emerging everywhere,” he railed.

The MCP was taking part in the debate on a motion for a resolution by Esquerra Republicana, centre-right JxCat, and left-wing CUP and Els Comuns demanding the immediate release of rapper Pablo Hasél, who has been imprisoned for five months for the lyrics of his rap songs. “This Parliament, which has been menaced for debating the monarchy, is today carrying out an act of justice,” said Mr Morales, despite the fact that “those who strive to make the word ‘quango’ fashionable will defend tooth and nail the greatest ‘quango’ of the last three centuries, the Bourbon monarchy; and they will do so because if the King falls, the State falls and the privileges of the powerful who benefit from it fall.”

In addition to demanding the release of Mr Hasél, the motion for resolution passed by Parliament calls for the passage of a bill in the Spanish parliament to repeal the articles of the Criminal Code relating to crimes of glorification of terrorism and insults and slander of the Crown and state institutions. It also demands that all criminal cases concerning political, intellectual or artistic expressions regarding the monarchy be dropped and those condemned amnestied.

You cannot say you are republican on April 14 [the day the Spanish Rpublic was declared in 1931] and then prevent a commissions of inquiry into the monarchy in the Spanish Congress
MCP Pau Morales

The fact is that “this does not only concern Pablo Hasél”, Mr Morales pointed out, “it also goes for the youth in Girona in 2007; for politician Joan Tardà; or Guifré and Jordi in 2013, who set alight portraits of the king.” And although Europe has regarded these acts as the exercise of freedom of expression, “the persecution continues, whether of NGO Catalan National Assembly, of activist Teresa Rodríguez or of Catalan President Pere Aragonès, for political statements that represent the opinion of a vast majority of Catalans,” he decried.

He also referred to the hypocrisy of the Spanish government: “You cannot say you are republican on April 14 [the day the Spanish Republic was declared in 1931] and then prevent a commissions of inquiry into the monarchy in the Spanish Congress, or prevent the repeal of the feudal crime of insulting the Crown, still in force.”

He concluded by praising the importance of anti-repressive solidarity: “Solidarity, for us, comes first and is unconditional, regardless of whether we agree on the opinion and the political project of the victims of repression,” he said.

And he gave a final warning: “Yesterday we learned that the European Court of Human Rights is now opening an investigation into the young men of Altsasu set-up by the police. It would be good for the Spanish state to stop persecuting puppeteers, rappers and graffiti artists. I don’t know if Europe will intervene sooner or later, but what I do know is that the coming of the Catalan Republic is inexorable and unstoppable.”