With ASAP Rocky currently in jail in Sweden in connection with an incident he says was brought on by harassment from two "drug addicts," the call for his release—particularly among reports Tuesday of the "horrific" conditions of the holding facility—has grown to include a sanctioned Change.org petition demanding justice.
Among the #FREEROCKY and #JUSTICEFORROCKY support campaigns is, for many, an escalating feeling of confusion regarding how Rocky ended up behind bars for an incident both he and his team have argued was a matter of self-defense. The footage Rocky shared to his Instagram, which last saw Rocky share a pic of a NOFX tee in a Stockholm-tagged post, appears to back up the self-defense argument.
Still, Rocky remains in custody amid claims of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations violations by Swedish authorities. Below, we take a look at where Rocky's situation stands now, with an eye toward what's possibly to come.
Alleged fight footage surfaces
The incident in question went down in Stockholm on June 30, with footage surfacing via TMZ and similar outlets the following day in which Rocky and several other men are alleged to be seen in an altercation with the two men Rocky later seen in context-providing footage on his Instagram.
Initially, local news reports did not specifically name Rocky in connection with the fight. Rocky had been overseas at the time for some international festival performances, a run which was set to wrap up ahead of Rocky's headlining set at the inaugural Real Street Fest back in Anaheim, California in August.
Rocky shares footage of his own and explains that the men were following and harassing him.
"We not trying to go to jail . . . It's OK, bro, chill," Rocky is seen in one clip telling the men, whom he characterized as "a few drug addicts [who] are not my fans." Rocky's story, later bolstered by manager John Ehmann, posits the men as having not only harassed him and his crew, but also women on the street.
"Video footage shows the assailants following Rocky, while he pleads to them that he does not want any issues," Ehmann said in a post pointing fans to that aforementioned petition Tuesday. "Rocky volunteered to go to police for questioning. Rocky and his colleagues were arrested on-site."
A judge clears the way for Rocky to be held for two weeks.
In a matter of days, Rocky had been ordered by a Swedish court to be held for two weeks in pre-trial detention. Again pointing to the self-defense nature of the case, defense lawyer Henrik Olsson Lilja said in a statement obtained by THR that the ruling would be appealed.
As Ehmann explained Tuesday, an appeal Rocky's team filed with the Swedish Supreme Court to have him released on the grounds of the "inhumane" holding conditions marking a human rights violation was rejected. Per Ehmann, the prosecution is now aiming to have a second two-week extension approved.
The conditions of the holding facility are said to be "horrific."
TMZ ran a report early Tuesday citing sources in possession of "direct knowledge" detailing the allegedly dire conditions under which Rocky is being held. The report claimed the "disease-ridden" facility had Rocky using a blanketless yoga mat for a bed, eating just one apple a day for the first five days of his detention, and being held next to an inmate struggling with "severe" mental health problems. That inmate, according to the report, often slams his head against the wall and throws feces around the facility that is allegedly not cleaned up by staff.
Ehmann confirmed many of the sources' claims, detailing in his previously quoted Instagram post the conditions with which the artist was being forced to contend at the Stockholm Detention Center.
"The conditions of the facility are horrific and include 24/7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, lack of access to life sustaining food, as well as unsanitary conditions," he said.
Later, BBC News got a statement from "Sweden prison boss" Fredrik Wallin, who disputed these descriptions. While Wallin is unable to speak on the conditions of individual prisoners, he claimed this week that facilities are in "good condition." Wallin also said he's not aware of any current diseases.
Tyler, the Creator, Schoolboy Q, and others pledge to avoid Sweden in protest.
As the stateside pushback against Rocky's treatment continues, friends and collaborators alike have stepped up with words of support. Tyler, the Creator, Schoolboy Q, and T.I. were among those calling for an outright boycott of Sweden in light of Rocky's detainment. Post Malone and Vince Staples also offered words of support, while Sheck Wes recalled an incident he had at the hand of Swedish authorities in which he was allegedly strip-searched without consent. Travis Scott, meanwhile, tucked a "Free Rocky!" message into his Wireless Festival set.
If convicted, Rocky reportedly faces a sentence of up to six years. In his petition-highlighting post Tuesday, Ehmann said the case prosecutor was simply hungry for fame of his own and was ensuring this by instituting punishment for Rocky and his team without due process. This prosecutor is said to be working to secure an additional extension ahead of a possible trial for mid to late August, per estimates from Rocky's team.
For now, fans looking to join the #FREEROCKY campaign in a tangible way can ink the petition (nearing 74,0000 signatures at the time of this writing) and keep an eye on all ASAP Mob and AWGE social media channels for additional updates on Rocky's battle for justice.
As a result of his arrest, ASAP Rocky's management confirmed that his European tour dates and festival appearances for the rest of July had been canceled. "ASAP Rocky is being detained in a Swedish jail for an unknown period of time for acting in self-defense during an altercation that took place," his management stated. "Due to this unfortunate situation he is forced to cancel his European festival and tour dates in July."
His tour dates for August onwards are currently unaffected.