Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden's ambassador to the US, has assured that her country has no prejudice against black people and insisted that rapper A$AP Rocky, currently in detention in Sweden, is being treated fairly.
In an interview with the TMZ news outlet, Olofsdotter stressed that the artist, who was arrested some two weeks ago over a street brawl in Stockholm, was not unfairly singled out, as charges have been brought against the man who assaulted Rocky's entourage as well. The ambassador also suggested Rocky's crime may be more serious that mere assault, although she wouldn't elaborate.
Olofsdotter also waved aside TMZ's suggestion that black people might now be afraid to travel to Sweden, given what has happened to Rocky. She proudly declared that Sweden ranks among the top five countries that enforce the rule of law.
“I would say it's perfectly safe, people are more than welcome. The more Americans want to come to Sweden the better”, Olofsdotter retorted.
Also Olofsdotter denied claims of “disgusting” conditions in jail made by A$AP Rocky's team as “inaccurate”. This suggestion, repeatedly made by TMZ, has been widely ridiculed on Twitter.
A$AP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) has been in detention on suspicion of assault since 5 July. The street brawl involging the artist's entourage occurred on 30 June during their stay in the Swedish capital. The rapper himself claimed he was stalked by “some drug addicts” and posted a video showing a heated exchange of words with a group of people of non-Swedish descent. A person from his crew claimed they had been provoked and had “no choice but to defend themselves”.
Since then, over 600,000 people, involving celebrities such as Nicky Minaj and Justin Bieber, have signed a petition to release the rapper. According to TMZ, A$AP Rocky's legal hardships have reached President Trump himself, owing to intense lobbying by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Earlier this week, members of the African-American congressional Black Caucus held a protest outside of the US Congress, demanding the rapper's release. One of them, Hakeem Jeffries, called the artist's arrest “scandalous”.
At present, over 200,000 of Sweden's population of 10 million were born in Africa.