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Celebrities demand ASAP Rocky's release from Swedish detention center

A court ruled on Friday that ASAP Rocky was a flight risk and must to be confined to a detention center, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.
Image: ASAP Rocky in Paris on June 24, 2018.
ASAP Rocky in Paris on June 24, 2018.Edward Berthelot / Getty Images file

A growing number of celebrities are calling for the release of ASAP Rocky, who was arrested last week on suspicion of assault while on tour in Stockholm.

Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was in Sweden to headline Smash x Stadion, a two-day hip-hop festival that began on July 2 in the country's capital.

The incident under investigation occurred on June 30 in Stockholm, where he was staying ahead of the concert. The two-time Grammy nominee was arrested on "probable grounds for serious assault," the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement last week.

Scores of celebrities including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lala Anthony, Meek Mill and Kris Jenner have expressed support on social media.

"Stand in support and request @asvpxrocky's release from Swedish officials!" Pinkett Smith wrote on social media, using the hashtag #JusticeforRocky and linking to a petition demanding his release. The petition had nearly 400,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

The rapper posted two videos on his Instagram account on July 2 that he said showed he and his entourage being followed by two men. In one clip, Rocky and his entourage repeatedly tell the men to stop following them.

“We don’t know these guys and we didn’t want trouble,” Rocky wrote on Instagram, adding that they followed him four blocks.

A video clip published on July 2 by Aftonbladet, a Swedish newspaper, appeared to show Rocky lifting a man off his feet and throwing him to the ground in a city street.

Representatives for Rocky maintain he acted in self-defense.

"We are currently in Stockholm where Rocky is being detained for operating in self-defense following an altercation that occurred on 6/30, when Rocky, his bodyguard and two performers were harassed and physically assaulted by a group of men in the area," the rapper's manager, John Ehmann, said in a statement this week.

Rocky went to the police for questioning voluntarily, according to Ehmann.

"On the day of his arrest, I spoke with the U.S. Embassy Consult who informed me that his request to visit Rocky was rejected by police, which violates article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory," Ehmann said. "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 troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally."

The rapper's lawyers filed an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court for his release, which was rejected, Ehmann said. As a result, Rocky will remain detained for two more weeks, he said.

"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," Ehmann said. "For a man that has not been proven guilty to go through these conditions, while visiting a country to headline their festival, is troublesome."

A court ruled on Friday that Rocky was a flight risk and must to be confined to a detention center, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.