Spanish rapper Valtonyc flees pending imprisonment over lyrics

By Sara Shayanian  |  May 25, 2018 at 10:37 AM
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May 25 (UPI) -- Spanish rapper Valtonyc is on the run to avoid a three-and-a-half year prison sentence after a court ruled his lyrics glorified terrorism and insulted the monarchy.

The rapper, whose real name is Josep Miquel Arenas Beltran, was supposed to report to prison authorities Thursday. Spain's High Court gave him 10 days to voluntarily turn himself in after losing an appeal on May 14.

"Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow they will knock down the door of my house to put me in jail. For some songs," the rapper tweeted Wednesday. "Tomorrow Spain is going to make a fool of itself once again. I'm not going to make it so easy, disobeying is legitimate and obligation to this fascist state. There's no giving up here."

The 24-year-old's whereabouts are unknown, even to friends and family, Mulay Embarek, a spokesperson for the Free Vatlonyc Support Group, told Billboard.

"He will never turn himself in," Embarek said. "Someone who has done something wrong should turn themselves in. But he has done nothing wrong ... today marks a historic day in Spain, the day that someone is expected to turn himself in and go to prison for singing."

The National Court Thursday issued an international search and capture order for the rapper. Some reports say Beltran fled to Brussels.

Carles Puigdement, the ex-Catalan premier who fled Spain after the Madrid government imposed direct rule on Catalonia, tweeted his support for the rapper.

"All my affection to you for a difficult decision, but it allows you to continue defending values and fundamental freedoms without which there is no democracy," Puigdemont said.

Spain's Supreme Court considered Valtonyc's lyrics to be "in support and praise" of terror groups such as GRAPO, a far-left organization that is more or less defunct, and ETA, a Basque separatist group that announced its dissolution this month. Other lyrics made insulting statements against the monarchy and were seen as making threats against the former president of the Spanish entity Círculo Balear, the court ruled.

"I want to send a message of hope to Spaniards: ETA is a great nation," Valtonyc said.

"The king has a rendezvous at the village square, with a noose around his neck," the rapper said in another song.

Last Friday, during a concert, Valtonyc told the crowd to "kill" a civil guard.

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