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A$AP Rocky’s prison accommodations are “inhumane,” according to his team, and the internet wants the situation fixed.
The 30-year-old rapper (real name: Rakim Mayers) has been sitting in a Swedish prison cell for over a week in connection to a street brawl in Stockholm. Since his July 2 arrest, TMZ has reported that Rocky’s been subjected to horrible conditions at Kronoberg Remand Prison, and fans and celebrities are now petitioning officials on Change.org in hopes of freeing the rapper.
TMZ published video of the incident showing Rocky and his entourage being physically and verbally harassed by two men on the streets of Stockholm. A second video shows a fed-up Rocky hurling one of the harassers across the pavement and the rapper’s group raining punches upon him.
While authorities investigate the details, the rapper’s in jail dealing with dirty drinking water, a lack of food, a yoga mat provided as bedding, solitary confinement and a neighboring inmate who bashes his head against the concrete wall and throws his own feces — just a few of the details TMZ has reported.
A petition for his release, believed to have been posted by Rocky’s A$AP Mob compatriots, received over 363,000 signatures in the first 24 hours. It has a goal of half a million signatures.
“On Monday, July 8th, we filed an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court to have Rocky released from the inhumane conditions and the clear violation of human rights,” the petition says. “The conditions of the facility are horrific.”
But according to Fredrik Wallin, governor of the facility Rocky is being held in, the conditions being reported are outside of the norm. He told the BBC’s Radio 1 Newsbeat that each cell typically features a desk, a bed with a mattress, and a TV. He also explained that inmates are supposed to receive three meals a day.
Wallin also denied claims that the prison is dirty, claiming it has a professional cleaning company on hand to ensure that accidents and other unsanitary mishaps are addressed immediately.
"I have no knowledge of any current diseases in the remand prison," he told Radio 1 Newsbeat.
According to the petition, Rocky’s initial request to see an official from U.S. Consulate the day he was arrested — as is allowed by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention for Consular Relations — was denied. Two days later, the request was granted, but only within the presence of jail guards. The petition called the delay extremely troubling.
“Welp, there it is... Sweden’s now officially outside of the culture on the NO GO list!” T.I. wrote in an Instagram post. “Until they #FreeFlacko, it’s up!”
With record low incarceration rates, Sweden’s prison system, which focuses on inmate rehabilitation, has long been a model for the rest of the world.
"Our role is not to punish,” director-general of Sweden’s prison and probation service Nils Öberg told The Guardian in 2014. “The punishment is the prison sentence: They have been deprived of their freedom. The punishment is that they are with us."
Cover: A$AP Rocky poses for a portrait to promote the film "Monster" at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)