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Amnesty International has called on the Spanish State to make changes to Spanish human rights legislation in the wake of the Valtònyc ruling. The organisation has demanded that the Spanish State "amends its legislation so it complies with international human rights standards" and that crimes such as glorification of terrorism and insults to the Crown are removed from the Criminal Code, since they "unduly restrict freedom of expression".

The organisation considers the Belgian court’s ruling, that rejects the extradition of rapper Valtònyc, requested by Spain for his song lyrics, "excellent news for freedom of expression". Amnesty International insisted that Spain should have withdrawn the European Arrest Warrant against the rapper some time ago. It argues that although "some consider his songs to be outrageous" the decision taken in Spain against Valtònyc "constitutes a disproportionate restriction" of his right to freedom of expression.

Amnesty International also recalls that the Belgian judiciary already rejected the extradition of Valtònyc in 2018, considering that there are no provisions in its criminal legislation according to which his performance can be considered a crime. Moreover, in October, Belgium's Constitutional Court overturned the 19th century law criminalizing insults toward the Crown.

The ruling

The three magistrates of the Court of Appeal of Ghent, in Belgium, are forceful in the resolution, released today, on the criminal threats for which rapper Valtònyc was sentenced to six months in prison by the Spanish state. "In the Belgian domestic legal system, the aforementioned conduct is not punishable", and, therefore, they do not approve his extradition. Spain’s National Audience court requested the extradition of Mallorcan Josep Miquel Arenas, Valtònyc, in May 2018 for the conviction of three crimes: glorification of terrorism (two years in prison), insults towards the Crown (one year) and criminal threats (six months). The first two were dismissed by Belgian authorities, and now the refusal to hand him over for the third is confirmed.

The court, in eighteen pages, explains that the Spanish state’s court sent a second arrest warrant for Valtònyc to Belgian authorities, for the lyrics in one of his songs: "Jorge Campos deserves an atomic bomb. I'm bringing out the artillery and everything I need. We want all these wild boars to die". Campos is currently a deputy for Vox in the Balearic Parliament.

Valtònyc reacts

"The court has declared that mine is a case of freedom of expression, as did the first instance court judge. I feel powerless and enraged, but I will continue to fight for this right," said Valtònyc as he left the court hearing, a few minutes past 9 am. The singer stated that "the Spanish government, which declares itself the most progressive in history, still rules a fascist state". Afterwards, the rapper thanked his legal team for its support and summed up the process in a tweet: "First they ignore you, then they laugh, then they attack you and finally, you win". He also asked for the release of Pablo Hasél.