Trump demands Sweden 'give A$AP Rocky his freedom' after rapper charged with assault


US President Donald Trump lashed out at Sweden's Prime Minister and demanded freedom for US rapper A$AP Rocky, after a Swedish court said the star will be tried on assault charges.

US President Donald Trump has taken aim at Sweden's Prime Minister for failing to help secure the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky from custody.

"Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States," Trump tweeted, adding: "Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM."

The 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on July 3 along with three other people, following a brawl in Stockholm on June 30. Mayers said he was acting in self-defence.

A Swedish prosecutor said on Thursday A$AP Rocky will be tried for assault.

"Today I have pressed charges against the three suspects for assault, because in my judgement what has happened amounts to a crime, despite the objections about self-defence and provocations," prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement.

A$AP Rocky performs in Paris.
A$AP Rocky performs in Paris.

Part of the brawl was captured in an amateur video published by US celebrity news outlet TMZ. The rapper later published videos of his own to Instagram purporting to show the lead up to the fight.

Mr Mayers has claimed he was acting in self-defence, saying he was responding to harassment and provocations by the plaintiff.

But Mr Suneson said in his statement that "I have had more material to consider than what has been available on the internet.

"In addition to the videotaped material, there is support for the plaintiff's account through witness interrogations."

On 5 July the Stockholm District Court ordered that Mr Mayers should be kept in custody pending investigation of the case as he was considered a "flight risk".

The court originally gave the prosecutor two weeks to decide on whether to press charges and later granted a week-long extension.

Mr Suneson's decision to press charges means the rapper can be kept in custody until his trial, which must be held within two weeks.

A$AP Rocky is interviewed live on stage during the 2019 SXSW.
A$AP Rocky is interviewed live on stage during the 2019 SXSW.

Mr Mayers can request to have his detention reviewed by the court and argue for conditional release until the trial is held.

Assault carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail in Sweden.


Mr Mayers' lawyer Slobodan Jovicic has previously stated that if the case went to trial he was confident his client would end up being acquitted and allowed to return to the US.

Since his arrest, fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the artist to be freed.

US President Donald Trump also got involved, contacting Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven directly to discuss the case.

Mr Lofven's press secretary Toni Eriksson confirmed the pair had spoken and told AFP that "the prime minister was careful to point out that the Swedish justice system is completely independent".

An online petition called #JusticeForRocky has garnered more than 620,000 signatures, and posters emblazoned with "Free A$AP Rocky A$AP" have been put up around Stockholm.

Artists including Post Malone, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Justin Bieber have all voiced their support for Mr Mayers, with rapper Tyler, the Creator saying he would no longer perform in Sweden.

Mr Mayers was born in New York and had a breakthrough in 2011 with the release of the mixtape "Live. Love. A$AP". He followed that up in 2013 with the debut album "Long. Live. A$AP".

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