United We can demand from Justice the "total" and "urgent" pardon of Hasel and Valtònyc for the crimes of expression
United We can registered with the Ministry of Justice this Thursday its announced petition for "total pardon" for rapper Pablo Hasel, imprisoned since Tuesday to comply a nine month sentence for the crimes of exalting terrorism, and insults and slanders to the monarchy and the State security forces and bodies that constitute, according to the National Court, some of his Twitter messages and the lyrics of his songs. In the letter, signed by the president of the confederal group, Jaume Asens, the same measure of grace is requested for rapper Valtònyc, "exiled" in Belgium to avoid a trial for exalting terrorism and humiliating the victims, threats and calumnies and serious injuries to the Crown. In both cases it is requested that they be processed by "urgently".
Condemned for their letters: the cases against La Insurgencia, Valtonyc and Pablo Hasel
The petition for pardon is an essential step for the Government to study it. Hasel himself already said that he had no intention of requesting the grace measure, but United We can assure elDiario.es that he has contacted his lawyer to ask for permission before registering him. After its registration, Justice must send the sentencing court and the prosecutor's office to take a position on the petition, although the final decision will depend on the Council of Ministers.
The document, to which this medium has had access, demands a "total pardon" for both, that is, "the remission of all the penalties to which he had been sentenced and which he had not yet completed." The signatories consider that there are "reasons of justice, equity or public utility" in favor of the convicted persons and they point out that "they are unjustly convicted of crimes that violate the right to freedom of expression, in accordance with human rights standards. ".
The brief also claims that the petition be resolved "by the means of urgency" recognized by the pardon law since, it assures, the normal process could take longer than the nine-month sentence that Hasel has imposed. This request would not affect another sentence of two and a half years in prison for the singer for threatening a witness in a trial and that the Hearing of Lleida has ratified this Thursday.
In the case of Valtònyc, the letter recalls that "the Belgian justice has on several occasions denied the delivery to the Spanish State, arguing that the lyrics of the convicted man's songs are part of the exercise of freedom of expression."
Reform of the Penal Code
Asens recalls in his letter that the United We can group this week has registered a bill "for the protection of freedom of expression" that states "to repeal the articles of the Penal Code that violate this fundamental right contained in the Constitution." Specifically, the proposal wants to eliminate the crimes of insults to the Crown, against religious sentiments, insults to State institutions, and glorification of terrorism.
The writing also recalls that the own Presidency of the Government and the Ministry of Justice announced "their intention to present a reform to prevent crimes of opinion from being punishable by imprisonment."
In 2018 Congress has already taken the first step to repeal these same crimes and only keep the civil claim path open, also by a proposal from United We Can. The dissolution of the Courts in February 2019 after Pedro Sánchez's solo Government Budget project declined, prevented its processing from reaching a successful conclusion.
"Whether through the Government Bill or the Registered Law Proposal, the repeal of the crimes of opinion for which the two artists have been convicted is a matter of time," states the letter signed by Asens. That, he continues, "the pardon is the way that the current legislation offers the Government to act before the social conviction that the sentences are unjust and pending the approval and subsequent application of the reform of the Penal Code." Hence, the signatories demand that it be done urgently, to avoid greater harm to those who suffer a prison sentence that, they say, will cease to exist in the near future.
United We can recall that this has already been done in the past, "as in the case of the insubordinate, who were pardoned before the imminent reform of the Penal Code that abolished compulsory military service" during the first government of José María Aznar.
Finally, the document raises, "more than 200 artists, have signed a manifesto in which they demand the release of rapper Pablo Hasel, 'as well as that these types of crimes be expelled from the Penal Code, which only curtail the right, not only to freedom of expression, but also to ideological and artistic freedom. ".