Rapper fled Spain to Belgium to avoid prison because of his songs
Friday, 25 May 2018
But where is Valtonyc? Condemned for promoting terrorism in virtue of an increasingly contested law, this rapper would have fled from Spain in order to avoid his incarceration Thursday, reopening the debate on the freedom of expression. According to Spanish media, Josep Miquel Arenas Beltran, better known under his stage name “Valtonyc,” would have left the country for Belgium, information which the AFP has not been able to confirm.
Thursday, the Minister of justice Rafael Catala announced though that he expected “the appropriate court to issue a detention order to arrest him, thanks to international cooperation.’’
Condemned to three and a half years of prison for “promoting terrorism,” “insulting the Crown” and “making threats,” a sentence confirmed in February by the Supreme Court, the singer of 24, little known before facing the courts, had until Thursday to surrender to justice. In a tweet sent Wednesday afternoon, he announced, however, his intention to “disobey.”
“Tomorrow, they will knock on my door to put me in prison. Because of some songs. Tomorrow, Spain will be ridiculed, once again. I am not going to sit back. “Disobeying is legitimate,’’ wrote the Majorcan rapper, treating the Spanish State as “fascist.’’ Valtonyc was supported in his supposed exile by Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont, who had left for Belgium after the futile 27 October declaration of independence.
In his song lyrics, the rapper evokes the murder of government members, of the royal family and of right-wing parties. He also called for the “killing of a civil Guard.” Spanish legislation on the apologia of terrorism and insults to the Crown is more and more subject to controversy. These last months, several cybernauts and Spanish artists have been condemned for these counts. These convictions have raised much criticism, Amnesty International having notably accused this Spanish legislation of being used to “repress political sensibilities, especially on the social network.”