New protests in Spain over the jailing of rapper’s backers

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Several hundred protesters are marching in Spain’s northeastern city of Barcelona against the authorities’ crackdown following a violent outcry over the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél, an anti-establishment artist. The march took place Saturday amid heavy police presence through the Catalan regional capital. Protesters walked behind a banner that called for the release of Hasél and his jailed supporters. The rapper is serving nine months for inciting terrorism and for refusing to pay a fine for insulting Spain’s former king. His arrest has triggered a debate over the limits of freedom of speech in Spain. Eight of his supporters have been jailed for torching a police van in which an officer only narrowly escaped the flames.