Spanish court rejects rapper’s freedom of speech argument

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a rapper who argued that his lyrics praising terror groups were protected by freedom of expression laws.

The court ruled Tuesday that Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, a rapper best known as Valtonyc, distributed songs online that praised terrorism, insulted the Spanish royal family and threatened a Spanish politician with violence.

It rejected Beltran’s argument that he was expressing his right to free speech and that rap songs aim to be provocative.

The court ruled that Spanish law prohibited such expressions of opinion, and upheld the National Court’s sentence of three and a half years in prison.

The rapper is not well-known but his case has brought a debate in Spain about freedom of speech.

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