The Government will propose a review of crimes related to freedom of expression to prevent them from leading to prison sentences. As reported by the Secretary of State for Communication in a brief statement sent at the edge of nine o’clock on Monday night, the reform will only punish conduct that clearly involves the creation of a risk to public order or the provocation of some type of violent conduct and only with dissuasive penalties, not deprivation of liberty as is the case today.
Serrat, Almodóvar and 200 other artists support Pablo Hasel and ask for his freedom before his entry into prison
In addition, the Ministry of Justice will consider in its proposal that those “verbal excesses” committed “in the context of artistic, cultural or intellectual manifestations” remain “outside of criminal punishment.” The Government assures that criminal law “is neither the most useful tool, nor is it necessary, nor is it certainly proportionate to respond to behaviors that, even though it may border on illegality, its criminal punishment would be a discouragement for freedom of expression, such and as the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Union and most of the Spanish doctrine have declared ”.
The Justice announcement comes in the midst of the controversy over the imminent entry into prison of rapper Pablo Hasel after being sentenced to nine months in prison for a crime of glorifying terrorism, and insults and slander against the monarchy and the security forces and bodies of the State for the messages he wrote on his Twitter account and expressed in his songs posted on YouTube, in one of the first cases in which those convicted of so-called ‘opinion crimes’ ended up in prison.
Precisely this Monday, more than 200 artists from different cultural disciplines, among which are the singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat and the filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, have signed a manifesto to support the rapper. The text calls for the freedom of the singer and accuses the Spanish State of “equating itself to countries such as Turkey or Morocco, which also have several artists imprisoned for denouncing the abuses committed by the State.”