Amid a series of arrests, trials and sentences against rappers, artists and social media users in Spain in an effort by the government to censor critical voices, punk singer Evaristo Paramos, of the La Polla Records and Gatillazo bands, was detained by the Spanish Civil Guard Sunday.
Just after finishing a concert with his band Gatillazo, for which he has been the lead singer since 2004, in a music festival in Jerez, Paramos was briefly arrested by security forces due to the content of his lyrics, which are highly political and anti-establishment.
Rumors spread about his detention, but it was later revealed that he was only “identified and accused” by the Civil Guard and later let go.
“After more than 30 years singing the same things, he's now detained for it in 2018. The Spanish fascism feels strong and legitimated and shows it openly without hesitating, but it's actually the opposite: the brutality and force shown are but a clear symptom of panic in the face of its extreme weakness,” wrote the actor and activist Willy Toledo in his personal Facebook profile, posted along with a song called “No more prisoners,” by La Polla Records.
Other politicians and parties also expressed their solidarity with Paramos, such as the Vasque autonomist Euskal Herria Bildu, or EH Bildu.
“There's no freedom of speech in the Spanish State. We stand in solidarity with Evaristo, who has been detained and accused, and with all artists that are under threat for criticizing the system with their songs, books and other artistic expressions #FreedomOfSpeech”
“We've filed a petition asking the government for information regarding the detention of Evaristo Paramos by the Civil Guard 'regarding his song lyrics' #FreedomOfSpeech #Solidarity #Elkartasuna”
The Spanish Civil Guard and the National Audience have been arresting and sentencing artists for their political views, including charges for disrespecting the royal family or the monarchy system, or even “praising terrorism” for showing any kind of support for the now dissolved ETA or its political prisoners.
Recently, rappers Pablo Hasel and Valtonyc left Spain to avoid their five, and three and a half years sentences respectively, which they received over their lyrics, accused of praising terrorism and inciting violence.