A Catalan kidnapper who will begin a nine-month prison sentence for offensive lyrics and Twitter posts has barricaded himself inside the university building to avoid prison.
Pablo Rivadula, who calls himself Pablo Hassel, on Monday challenged police to pick him up after he refused to introduce himself in prison last Friday.
The radical left-wing attacker announced on social media that he and about 20 supporters had locked themselves in a room inside the University of Lleida administration, saying police would “have to make their way if they wanted to arrest and imprison me”.
His case highlighted Spain’s strict laws restricting freedom of expression, and celebrities are seeking the abolition of his sentence, including film director Pedro Amodóvar and actor Javier Bardem.
The Spanish National Court initially sentenced the 32-year-old to two years in prison for the crimes of insulting the monarchy, glorifying terrorism and insulting the police in a song and a series of posts on his Twitter feed.
The sentence was reduced to nine months last year Spanish Supreme Court, and was ordered to report to prison because he had previously been convicted of a two-year sentence for similar acts.
Now, as a rheofender, Mr. Rivadulla could spend several years behind bars as there are several other cases pending a final verdict.
Among the political expressions that led to his latest verdict were acknowledging the deceased communist terrorist and criticizing former Spanish King Juan Carlos for selling weapons and “fornicating” with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“You don’t need to agree with my opinions to see that this is an attack on freedom of expression,” rper told a news conference.
Last week, the Spanish government announced it would review the statute to ensure that only expressions inciting violence continue to be offenses.
Mr Rivadulla will become the first to be imprisoned in Spain for his texts after another radical Rome, Valtonyc, fled to Belgium after being sentenced to three and a half years for similar offenses. Belgium has so far refused to extradite him.
A Twitter user named Cassandra Vera was convicted but later acquitted in 2018 of glorifying terrorism after she joked about a Basque terrorist group, the 1973 assassination of General Franco, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco.