The State Department is raising concerns about the arrest and detention of an American rapper in Sweden and is urging the Swedish government to treat him fairly, according to a statement shared exclusively with POLITICO.
ASAP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested July 2 after voluntarily going to the police in Stockholm for questioning about a street fight he was involved in.
A State Department spokesperson said that the department is aware of the case and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been briefed. Top officials at the department, including Robert O’Brien, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, are also closely monitoring the situation and working to make sure the rapper is treated fairly.
“There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” the spokesperson said. “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.”
Swedish prosecutors must decide by Friday whether to charge Rocky, who is being held in solitary confinement, or ask a court to let them hold him longer.
Rocky and his entourage, who were in Stockholm for the Smash music festival, were walking around the city “minding their own business” on June 30 when they were verbally harassed by two men who had started following them, according to a person close to the rapper.