American rapper ASAP Rocky, 30, was arrested in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, July 1 for aggravated assault following a street brawl, which was videotaped. After two weeks in pre-trial detention, the artist's representative, John Ehmann, has complained about the "inhuman conditions" in which the artist finds himself and has launched a petition in Change.org for his release. On the page he states that the prison has the rapper in "a 24/7 isolation module, with restrictions on the most basic services, such as access to acceptable and sufficient food to stay alive, and in unsanitary conditions."
Faced with these claims, the center's director, Fredrik Wallin, has left to defend the facility. Walling claims on the US Page Six portal that Kronoberg, as the prison is called, has been "recently renovated," is clean and offers three meals a day. He referred only to the general conditions that apply to all prisoners" and did not confirm whether ASAP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is in his custody, but according to the same means, the Swedish authorities have notified them that this is where the detainee is located.
Images and videos of the centres they run can be seen on the Swedish Prison Service website. Although it does not offer access to the interior of the Kronoberg preventive retention building, where ASAP Rocky is being held, it does offer an idea of the state of the facility. Images that have been accessed by various American media show individual rooms similar to those of student residences, with wooden furniture, a single bed, a desk and shelves. They also have a window, a radiator, a washbasin and sometimes a TV. The size and layout of these rooms are designed according to a temporary stay and, in most cases brief, since prisoners only stay there for the time before trial.
On the lack of cleanliness referred to by the rapper's representative, the director also did not hesitate to deny him: "We have contracted a professional cleaning service". Another complaint the rapper has expressed refers to diets. "Enough food is provided to stay alive," Wallis said, adding that all prisoners receive breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To demonstrate this, the center has provided the US portal with a sample menu. During the week of July 8-14, Kronoberg prisoners received dishes including minced meat, potato soup, sausage stew with rice, cod, mashed potatoes, chili and spicy pasta. In turn, a video uploaded to their website shows how guards deliver meals to prisoners.
In the face of the representative's allegations that ASAP Rocky is in isolation, the website clarifies that this entails a number of restrictions. These may include denial of visits, access to the press, radio, television, or telephone calls being supervised or directly denied. However, according to PageSix, a representative of the prosecutor's office has confirmed that this department has "not requested restraint measures in this case", as the artist has been arrested for "risk of flight".
The Swedish courts that carry the rapper's case have clarified that the prosecutor has until 19 July to decide how to prosecute him. Until then, he will remain on remand and if the prosecutor requests an extension, the courts "will decide whether or not to accept this extension period." In the meantime, the representative has not responded to the prison director's statements and the petition in Change.org has already reached more than 500,000 signatures, half of the maximum set to achieve the target.