Both Barcelona And Madrid have endured a fifth night of protests over the imprisonment of Spanish rapper, Pablo Hasél.
Last night´s Madrid demonstration was small by comparison with previous ones – police estimated around 300 people attended and which was peaceful with no arrests made.
Despite the small number on Saturday, the police were out in force, with some 300 officers including anti-riot police on duty to deter the repeat of last week´s demonstration in Sol which saw violence and widespread damage to property and resulted in 19 arrests and 55 injured in clashes that lasted through the night.
Earlier the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez condemned all forms of violence and said that it had no place in a “full democracy” such as Spain.
The prime minister said that “violence is an attack on democracy. Consequently the Spanish government will confront any kind of violence to ensure people’s safety,’
In addition, Spain’s Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, praised the police, saying they ‘guarantee the rights and freedoms of all society against a minority whose misguided idea of rights makes them have recourse to violence’.
The violence was sparked by the arrest of the rapper who is now serving a nine month prison sentence for insulting the monarchy and “glorification of terrorism” which included tweets praising convicted terrorists as well as composing raps that accused the police of torture and the Spanish Crown of corruption.