Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No freedom of speech in Spain

Oh look - Spain still has an archaic lese majeste law:

Spain's Supreme Court confirmed Tuesday rapper Jose Miguel Arenas, known as Valtonyc, will serve three and half years in prison for insulting, slandering Spain's monarchs and "exalting terrorism." Arenas was found guilty by a national tribunal on Feb. 7.

Valtonyc had argued he was exercising his right to free speech and artistic creation, but the court dismissed his defense saying the songs he wrote and published via internet include support of terrorist groups and attacks against the king and his family.

Spain is supposed to be a democratic country which respects freedom of expression, as required by the European Convention on Human Rights. But as we've seen from the state use of violence to suppress Catalonia's democratic desire for independence, it has abandoned those values. Civilised states don't have special criminal libel laws protecting the monarch, and civilised states allow people to criticize corrupt aristocrats and comment on politics without going to jail. But I guess Spain isn't really civilised any more.