After Two Weeks, A$AP Rocky Is Still Detained in Sweden
After two weeks, A$AP Rocky is still detained in Sweden after turning himself in to authorities following a June 30th altercation. On July 1st, TMZ posted a video of the Harlem rapper allegedly throwing a man across the street in Stockholm as a fight broke out. A day later, the Harlem rapper was arrested by Swedish police for suspected “gross assault,” according to The Hollywood Reporter and CBS News.
In two separate posts on Rocky’s Instagram, the two men can be seen following A$AP and his associates through the street. After multiple calls for the unknown men to stop following them and turn around, one of the men hits Rocky’s security with what appears to be a pair of headphones. “So a few drug addicts are not my fans. We don’t know these guys and we didn’t want trouble,” Rocky wrote on Instagram. “They followed us for 4 blocks and they were slapping girls butts who passed.”
A Swedish court ruled that Rocky was to be held for two weeks in pre-trial detention until the fight was investigated, The Hollywood Reporter noted.
“The conditions of the facility are horrific and include 24/7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, lack of access to life-sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions,” John Ehmann, Rocky’s manager, wrote on Instagram. “On the day of his arrest, I spoke with the U.S. Embassy Consult who informed me that his request to visit Rocky was rejected by police, which violates article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory. Since then, he has been allowed to visit with a U.S. Embassy Consult and attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials. It is troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally.”
Rocky’s peers and collaborators quickly came to his defense. “No more Sweden for me, ever,” Tyler, the Creator wrote on Twitter with artists like Schoolboy Q and Jaden Smith sharing similar sentiments. “#freeasaprocky Sweden! Tryna give me boy a 6 for tryna defend his self,” Meek Mill wrote on Twitter. “Sweden’s now officially outside of the culture on the NO GO list,” T.I. added on Instagram. “Until they #FreeFlacko It’s UP!!!!” Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Diddy, Nicki Minaj and more celebrities began sharing the #JusticeForRocky petition on social media. In addition to celebrity support, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, U.S. Representative for New York’s Thirteenth Congressional District, has written to the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Sweden.
“For the State Department, we’re asking them to try to get to see him, and see what they can do on the ground over there,” Espaillat told Complex. “From the Swedish Embassy here in Washington, just asking to listen, because I’ve seen the tape of what occurred, and clearly, he was provoked, and harassed, and followed, and accosted, and I think he acted in self-defense.” According to a report from Politico, a State Department representative confirmed that the Secretary of State has been briefed on the situation, and provided a statement that said “there are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns.”
A Change.org petition launched on July 8 currently has 590,000 signatures.
On July 12th, the Swedish Prosecution Authority released a statement announcing that a preliminary investigation into the unknown men “suspected of molestation and assault” who followed Rocky and his associates is taking place. An update by Swedish prosecutors on whether to charge Rocky or extend his detainment is due Friday, according to Politico. “There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” a spokesperson from the State Department told the site. “We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. … We hope to see ASAP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.”
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