U.S. State Department Speaks Up About Treatment Of A$AP Rocky Amid Arrest In Sweden
In a statement released to Politico, the State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been briefed on A$AP Rocky's arrest in Sweden.
July 15, 2019 at 9:49 pm
The U.S. State Department has now gotten involved in the case of A$AP Rocky, who was arrested in Stockholm, Sweden after two men attacked his entourage and a fight ensued.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert O’Brien, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, have been briefed on the situation, and the State Department has released a statement to Politico saying they have raised grave concerns over how A$AP Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, has been treated since his arrest.
“There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” the State Department spokesperson told Politico.
“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.”
For the first four days of his arrest, Mayers was reportedly in solitary confinement at a "filthy, fetid" prison. Swedish officials broke rules of the Vienna Convention by failing to notify the U.S. Embassy of Mayers' arrest and astonishingly refused to allow embassy officials to speak with him.
Even when U.S. officials were finally allowed to speak with Mayers, they were not given a private space to speak, breaking a number of international rules.
“Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador O’Brien have been relentless in their diplomatic efforts on behalf of American citizens being held all over the world," Mayers' lawyer Alan Jackson said in a statement.
"Rocky’s millions of fans worldwide are putting their trust in the State Department to get Rocky home.”
On Friday, Mayers will go before a Swedish judge, and they will decide whether to charge him with assault or just detain him longer.
The situation has stunned A$AP Rocky fans and casual observers alike because multiple videos have been released showing exactly what happened.
Before his arrest, Mayers himself and Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet released videos show two men abusing women in the area and then attacking Mayers' security guards before throwing punches at him. On the video, Mayers repeatedly says they do not want to fight and are seen running away from the men who shattered a pair of headphones against one of the security guards.
Later in the video, Mayers and others are seen finally fighting back against the men who had been chasing and punching them.
A "#JusticeForRocky" petition has circulated and gained nearly 600,000 signatures while dozens of artists like Justin Bieber have lobbied for Mayers' release.
Swedish officials raided the hotel room of Mayers' manager John Ehmann, allegedly because of their anger over the petition. But they recently announced that they had arrested the two men who are seen on video fighting Mayers and his crew.