Spain’s Supreme Court has upheld the three-and-a half year sentence for Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, a rapper known as Valtonyc, who a court in Madrid had previously sentenced for “inciting terrorism” and insulting the Spanish King and other members of the royal family in songs posted on YouTube.
The Supreme Court ratified the sentence on Tuesday (Feb. 20), according to Spanish press reports. In his defense, Valtonyc had argued that his lyrics were protected by laws of freedom of expression, describing the nature of rap lyrics as “extreme, provocative, allegorical and symbolic.”
But the court rejected that defense, ruling that his lyrics “supported and praised” terrorist groups ETA and GRAPO. Valtonyc was also found guilty of insulting the Spanish royal family in his graphic lyrics and and threatening the leader of a political party (Jorge Campos, head of Círculo Balear).
Sixteen of Valtonyc’s songs, including “Facism is Cured by Dying” and “They Should be Afraid 2,” which he posted on Youtube and the rap site HH Groups, were exhibited as evidence in court. They call out the King and other members of the royal family and members of government for repression and corruption, with references to real events and their imagined consequences, with lines including “The King has an appointment in the town square with a rope around his neck and let the weight of the law fall on him.”
The court decision said that the content of the songs contain praise of “violent means employed by [terrorist] organizations and contain an incitement to their reiteration.”