Spain Unrest: Protest against arrest of rapper sparks violence, woman loses eye

A woman lost her eye in protests against the arrest of rap artist Pablo Hasel in Spain as police fired rubber bullets and used batons against demonstrators.

The woman was reportedly hit by a police rubber bullet during a rally on Tuesday in Barcelona, AP news agency reported on Thursday.

The injury was caused by a foam tipped projectile, the kind used by police in the city and wider Catalonia region, where rapper Hasel was arrested on Tuesday, El Pais, a Spainsh newspaper reported.

Protests erupted in Spain across several cities including Madrid, Barcelona after Pablo Hasel, 33, was arrested on Tuesday to serve a 9 month prison sentence for tweets and lyrics that targeted the monarchy.

More than 200 artists, including film director Pedro Almodóvar and Hollywood star Javier Bardem, have signed a petition against his jailing.

Amnesty International said the case was the latest in a string of instances where artists and social media personalities were put on trial for violating Spain’s 2015 Public Security Law, which was enacted by a previous conservative-led government.

Critics say the law curtails free assembly and muzzles dissent.

READ: Riot police storm university to arrest rapper who criticised Spanish king and government