Spanish rapper rejects imprisonment, draws focus to gag law

LLEIDA, Spain (AP) — A rapper in Spain and dozens of his supporters have locked themselves inside a university building in the artist’s latest attempt to avoid a prison sentence for insulting the monarchy and praising terrorism. The case of Pablo Hasél, 32, has drawn increasing attention in Spain and has been linked to the government’s sudden announcement to change a national law that is deemed to curtail freedom of expression. Over 200 artists signed a petition last week in support of the rapper. The country’s National Court has issued an order for his arrest after a 10-day period to enter prison voluntarily expired on Friday. But the artist said Monday he wouldn’t go without showing resistance and drawing attention to his case.