Swedish politicians slam Trump over ASAP Rocky case

UPDATED: Swedish politicians on Friday fired back at US President Donald Trump, after he rowed with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven over Sweden's move to press assault charges against American rapper A$AP Rocky.

Swedish politicians slam Trump over ASAP Rocky case
A poster in Stockholm calling for the rapper to be freed. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist / TT

Several Swedish politicians protested Trump's remarks, after the president took to Twitter on Thursday to express his frustration.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven 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.” He also tweeted “We do so much for Sweden but it doesn't seem to work the other way around.”

But Swedish politicians were quick to offer rebuttals, with some highlighting that the charges against the rapper, stemming from a June street brawl in Stockholm, were laid by prosecutors and were not arbitrary.

“So, what is it you do for us MR President?,” MEP Fredrick Federley tweeted.

Former prime minister Carl Bildt echoed earlier responses by the Swedish government and pointed to the independence of the Swedish judiciary. “That's the way it is in the US, and that's certainly the way it is in Sweden. Political interference in the process is distinctly off limits! Clear?” Bildt tweeted.

In a comment to newspaper Aftonbladet, Bildt also commended the government for choosing not to engage, saying it was wise to avoid “mud wrestling with Trump”.

Natali Sial, a spokeswoman for the Swedish government, said they did not have anything further to add after Trump's latest statements.

“In Sweden everyone is equal before the law. The White House has been informed of this. Now the judicial process will run its course,” Sial told AFP.

Former US ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji also chimed in to show support for the Scandinavian nation. “As Sweden leads by example in showing that everyone is equal before the law, the US struggles to show that no one is above the law,” Raji wrote on Twitter.

The 30-year-old US rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on July 3rd along with three other people following the brawl on June 30th. One of the others, the rapper's bodyguard, was later released.

Mayers claims he acted in self-defence. But on Thursday prosecutor Daniel Suneson said he was pressing charges against Mayers and the two others “because in my judgement what has happened amounts to a crime, despite the objections about self-defence and provocations.”

Part of the fight 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. But Suneson said he has “more material to consider than what has been available on the internet”.

On July 5th the court ordered Mayers kept in custody pending investigation as he was considered a “flight risk”. Suneson's decision to press charges means the rapper can be kept in custody until his trial which is scheduled to take place over three days, starting on July 30th.

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

Since his arrest, fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for his release. An online petition called #JusticeForRocky has garnered more than 630,000 signatures.

On Tuesday one fan was arrested at the Swedish embassy in Washington after she allegedly damaged property and swore at staff in protest at the country's treatment of the rapper.

The musician, who had his breakthrough in 2011 with the release of the mixtape “Live. Love. A$AP”, was on a European tour at the time of his arrest and has already had to cancel over a dozen shows. 

By Johannes Ledel

Member comments

  1. U.S.: A rich guy (Kanye West) tells another rich guy (Trump) to tell to another country to forget about their laws.
    Sweden: A prime minister and politicians explain to the rich guys the meaning of democracy and justice in a society.

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Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

The former politician has been charged on suspicion of murdering his colleague in an apartment south of Stockholm, after police found body parts in three different locations in the capital.

Sweden Democrat politician charged for dismembering colleague

According to the prosecution, the body parts found in plastic bags in central Stockholm came from a man in his 60s murdered in an apartment in Nyköping, south of Stockholm.

The man is said to have been killed by a pistol shot to the head, after which the 60-year-old charged with the murder dismembered the body.

The suspected murderer, who newspaper Expressen reports is a former Sweden Democrat politician, is said to have moved the body parts multiple times, eventually dumping them across the city.

In total, three body parts were found in two different locations – the Karlsberg canal and in the Djurgården park. Not all parts of the body have yet been found.

“We’ve carried out a comprehensive investigation into the victim and the suspect. We can, to some extent, show how and when the suspect moved the body parts,” prosecutor Marina Chirakova told TT.

The victim, who according to Expressen was also a former Sweden Democrat politician, had been friends with the suspected murderer for a number of years. Prosecutors did not comment on the motive behind the murder.

“That will be discussed in the main hearings,” she told TT.

The suspect was taken into custody in November last year after being arrested in Nyköping. He denies the charges, but accepts certain circumstances related to the case.

Upon his arrest, he resigned from his political obligations and his membership was frozen by the Sweden Democrats.

“I don’t want to comment on his stance on the charges or anything he has said,” she further told TT.

The murder is suspected to have taken place between August 30th and September 16th last year.