Mallorca rapper Valtonyc who ‘insulted’ Spain’s royal family faces new extradition hearing in Belgium

A Mallorcan rapper who fled Spain in 2018 after insulting the monarchy has another extradition hearing to fight off.

In May 2018, performer Valtonyc, real name Josep Miquel Arenas, fled to Belgium after being given three-and-a-half years in jail.

The Supreme Court upheld the February 2017 verdict and sentence over a year later, prompting Valtonyc to leave Spain.

Mallorca police set up a surveillance team to ensure he did not leave the island, yet he still managed to escape.

Demonstration For Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona, Spain 23 May 2018
BARCELONA SOLIDARITY FOR VALTONYC, MAY 2018. Cordon Press Image.

Belgian courts have rejected previous extradition requests but a new hearing has now been set for December 28 in the Ghent Court of Appeal.

The Sa Pobla artist was convicted of glorifying terrorism, threatening right-wing politician Jorge Campos and making defamatory comments against the Spanish royal family.

Organisations such as Amnesty International have campaigned for Valtonyc to be cleared arguing that it is a breach of freedom of speech.

The rapper was convicted under Spain’s controversial ‘Citizen Safety’ law, dubbed as the ‘Gag Law’ which was introduced by the previous Partido Popular government.

Other rappers and performers like Pablo Hansel have fallen foul of the ‘Gag Law’ and was sentenced to nine months in jail by the Supreme Court in February on top of two years handed out back in 2014.

The controversial legislation is being amended by Congress.

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