A New York congressman has stepped in the battle to see that A$AP Rocky is released and returned safely back to the USA, while Rocky’s lawyer responds to reports that his client is living in “inhumane conditions.”
Fans, celebrities and more have come forward in support of Rocky amid his recent detainment, after he was seen getting into an altercation with two Swedish men on June 30. The A$AP Mob has been working with authorities to expedite his release and his return home. In fact, congressman Adriano Espaillat, U.S. Representative for New York’s Thirteenth Congressional District, is even pushing for the Harlem rapper’s freedom.
On July 10, Espaillat wrote several letters to the U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Sweden, and the Swedish Ambassador in Washington, saying Rocky is innocent, as he pleaded for the rapper to be served justice. With Espaillat by Rocky’s side and more than 400,000 signatures in a fan petition’s first day, Espaillat is confident in his case. “He’s part of a growing, young movement of artists that, first of all, I commend because they identify with the neighborhood where they live, which in this case is Harlem,” Espaillat explains. “Harlem is a neighborhood that is very special because Harlem is not just about the Apollo or 125th Street. It’s really about an attitude and a personality and a history and a legacy. And so, for him to be a young person and continue to identify with Harlem, and be a strong presence of the artist community in Harlem, is great. That’s why I’m going to bat for him.”
Meanwhile, Rocky’s attorney has since responded to reports that Rocky was living in “inhumane conditions” in one of Sweden’s detention centers.
TMZ alleged that Rocky was being held in “inhumane conditions” in the Swedish jail, but on Thursday, Rocky’s lawyer Henrik Olsson Lilja pushed back on TMZ’s allegations in a statement to Swedish media outlet SVT Nyheter. The Google-translated SVT Nyheter article said Henrik Olsson Lilja said,
“He has lacked appetite at the beginning when he was arrested but tries to eat to the best of his ability. He was to receive a visit from American staff at an early stage when he was arrested, but understood that staff from the embassy were not allowed to enter. At a later date, someday later, however, he has been visited. If this is a violation of the Vienna Convention, he cannot judge. He does not know any other information in the TMZ article.”
The attorney also reportedly said Rocky “has never talked to” TMZ or any other outlet regarding his arrest circumstances.