Last week Friday, a Swedish court ruled that A$AP Rocky must be held at a Stockholm detention center for two weeks during an investigation into an alleged assault. Rocky, whose given name is Rakim Mayers, was deemed by the court to be a flight risk. His Swedish lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja, has said that the detention will be appealed, insisting that Rocky will gladly return if and when a trial is scheduled. If convicted, Rocky faces up to six years in prison.
The incident in question occurred a week ago Sunday. Video footage, published by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet last week, appears to show Rocky and members of his entourage fighting with a pair of men. The footage was filmed by bystanders and contains no dialogue between the parties or context from their earlier interactions.
But around the same time the footage surfaced, Rocky posted a pair of videos to his Instagram account. One shows Rocky and members of his entourage, primarily a security guard, asking a pair of young men to stop following the group. Rocky captioned the clip: “SO A FEW DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT MY FANS , WE DONT KNOW THESE GUYS AND WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE , THEY FOLLOWED US FOR 4 BLOCKS , AND THEY WERE SLAPPING GIRLS BUTTS WHO PASSED, GIVE ME A BREAK.”
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On Sunday, June 30th, A$AP Rocky, his bodyguard and two performers from his show acted in self-defense after two men followed, harassed and physically assaulted them in Stockholm. Video footage shows the assailants following Rocky and his colleagues, even cutting off where they are trying to walk sometimes, while Rocky pleads to them that he does not want any issues.
The group of men continued to follow and harass Rocky and his colleagues, asking for money, and began grabbing Rocky and the others. This led Rocky and his colleagues to act in self-defense to avoid any further physical harm. On Tuesday, July 2nd, Rocky volunteered to go to police headquarters after his performance for questioning about this incident. Rocky and his colleagues were arrested on-site.
We are surprised that something like this could happen in Sweden to people who were minding their business and forced to defend themselves from a group of assailants. This should be about justice. Rocky has been in prison for six days for the use of self defense.
Upon being detained, Rocky was denied his requestto counsel which is in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory.
Everyone has the same rights to be treated fairly upon detainment and should be given fair and equal access to such rights. Since, he has been allowed to visit with a U.S. Embassy Consult and attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials. It is extremely troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally in these circumstances.
On Monday, July 8th, we filed an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court to have Rocky released from the inhumane conditions and the clear violation of human rights. They rejected the filing, which means Rocky will remain in prison for two weeks. The conditions of the facility are horrific. Some of the inhumane conditions Rocky and his colleagues are facing at the Stockholm Detention Center include 24/7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, access to palatable and life sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions.
The prosecutor on the case has further communicated that he is working to receive an additional two-week extension for a trial to begin in mid – to end of August. To keep Rocky and his colleagues in jail pending the lengthy trial proceedings is a punishment before the fact, with no due process.