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Graffiti Artists Protest Over Jailed Spanish Rapper

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BARCELONA: A colourful mural showing arrows through the heads of former Spanish king Juan Carlos and the late dictator General Francisco Franco was among images that graffiti artists painted on walls in Barcelona to protest on Sunday the jailing of a rapper for glorifying terrorism and insulting the monarchy in his songs.

The nine-month sentence imposed on Pablo Hasel, who is known for his fiercely anti-establishment raps, has sparked a debate over freedom of expression in Spain and demonstrations which descended, at times, into violence.

The artists’ peaceful demonstration contrasted with five nights of clashes in Spanish cities between protesters and police in which containers were burned, banks smashed up and projectiles thrown at residents.

They called for a change in anti-terrorism and gagging laws which they say unfairly limit people’s right to demonstrate their disapproval in the streets.

“We have been protesting for years and asking for these changes to gagging laws and now everyone is tearing their clothes or burning containers,” said Roc Blackclock, an artist.

Thirty-eight people were arrested in cities across Catalonia on Saturday after demonstrators smashed windows in Barcelona’s emblematic Palau de la Musica concert hall and looted shops on the city’s most prestigious shopping street, Passeig de Gracia.

“These graffiti transmit what society thinks, in favour of freedom of expression and against the freedom of destruction,” said Toni Marin, 52, a bank worker.

The Spanish government announced last week it would scrap prison sentences for offences involving cases of freedom of speech.

Senior members of the hard left Unidas Podemos party, the junior partners in Spain’s coalition government, voiced support for the protesters which critics took to mean tolerating the violence.

José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the conservative mayor of Madrid, blamed Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez for tolerating Podemos’ attitude to the violence. Sanchez condemned the violent protests on Friday.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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Nurse P Niveda from Puducherry administers Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ to PM Modi

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On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first shot of the Coronavirus vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

Dressed in the traditional Assamese gamosa and a white kurta, PM Modi reached the hospital on Monday morning to get his vaccine shot. Health worker P Niveda, who hails from Puducherry, administered the first dose of the vaccine to PM Modi. A second nurse from Kerala – Sister Rosamma Anil from Kerala was also seen standing behind them.

The Prime Minister reached AIIMS at 6.25am on Monday morning and did not take any special routes. PM Modi was administered with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

After taking the vaccines shot, PM Modi tweeted saying he took the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the country kicked off the second phase of its vaccination drive. He also praised the doctors and scientists and also urged those eligible to take the vaccine.

“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!” said PM Modi in his tweet.

Speaking to media later, AIIMS nurse P Niveda stated that she has been working in AIIMS for the last 3 years. She added that the PM had exclaimed he could not even feel the prick, in a praise of her skills.

Second phase of the vaccination drive starts

From Monday, India will begin the next phase of the world’s largest vaccination drive. The vaccination drive will cover the next priority group – over the age of 60 years and those between 45 and 59 years suffering from pre-specified co-morbidities. 

The vaccines will be provided free at the government health facilities while private facilities will charge Rs 250 per person per dose. The Rs 250 charge includes Rs 150 for vaccines and Rs 100 as operational charges.



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