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Exiled rapper appeals to Strasbourg court over freedom of expression case

Valtònyc argues Spain violated his rights by condemning him to three and a half years in jail over song lyrics

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31 October 2018 02:43 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Exiled rapper Valtònyc is taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg after Spain condemned him to three and a half years in prison over the lyrics of his songs.

Valtònyc went into exile in Belgium, where a court refused his extradition back to Spain arguing that his case was one of freedom of expression, and his behavior could not be considered as glorifying terrorism or slandering the crown – the offenses for which he was condemned in Spain.

Although the extradition case is still open – pending an appeal - his lawyers are confident Belgium will not extradite him. Moreover, they consider the Belgian arguments as a good base for their appeal in Strasburg.

The case against Spain in the European Court of Human Rights in the French city will be based on Article 10 of the European Convention, which protects freedom of expression.

Now, the Court has to decide if it accepts the demand or not. If it does, it will then examine the case and a ruling may take years. If Strasbourg was to decide that Valtònyc was wrongly condemned for the lyrics of his songs, he could go back to Spain.

In an interview with Catalan News, Valtonyc said that he wants his case to become a "precedent" to protect other artists from prosecution. He is confident Strasbourg will guarantee his right of freedom of expression as it did with those that burned Spanish King's pictures.

In a ruling last March, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Spain for prosecuting two young people that had burned pictures of the monarch, arguing that doing so was protected by their freedom of expression

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  • Valtònyc speaks to the press in Ghent, Belgium, after hearing on September 3 2018 (by Blanca Blay)

  • Valtònyc speaks to the press in Ghent, Belgium, after hearing on September 3 2018 (by Blanca Blay)