Rapper's arrest sparks protests in Catalonia

A demonstrator throws a flare at police during clashes after a protest condemning the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasel in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday.

(CNN)Protesters took to the streets in Barcelona and Girona, in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region, on Tuesday night following the dramatic arrest of rapper Pablo Hasel earlier in the day.

Hasel and his supporters had barricaded themselves inside Lledia University, in the northeastern provincial capital of Lleida, near Barcelona, since Monday after his deadline to hand himself in following conviction in a free speech case expired.
On Tuesday, Catalan riot police stormed the university and arrested Hasel. Video from the arrest shows a defiant Hasel shouting: "You will never defeat us! You will never overcome us, we will resist until we are victorious."
    Hasel is arrested by police officers at the University of Lleida, Catalonia, on February 16.
    Hasel had until last Friday to hand himself in to police after Spain's Supreme Court in May 2020 upheld a lower court's conviction in March 2018 against the rapper, whose full name is Pablo Rivadulla Duro.
    The conviction was for supporting terrorism, and also for libel and slander against the Spanish monarchy, through his social media messages, according to a copy of the court's sentence and a Supreme Court press office statement about it. He was sentenced to nine months in jail.
    The 70-page Supreme Court sentence said that the rapper published tweets from 2014 to 2016 "that denigrated various institutions while also dedicating phrases glorifying certain people convicted of terrorism.
    Supporters of the rapper demonstrate in Barcelona on Tuesday condemning his arrest.