Rocky fans call for boycot of IKEA, threatens embassy

In this 2017 photo from Facebook, Trump meets Swedish Ambassador to the United States of America, Karin Olofsdotter.

Fans of American rapper A$AP Rocky, who is awaiting trial for alegedly being part of a violent beating of a person in a street fight in Stockholm, try to retaliate against Sweden by calling for a boycot of Swedish products.

Many appeared inspired by a Trump tweet Thursday that declared: “We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around.”

That sparked a rash of retweets with the #boycottsweden hashtag, singling out Swedish brands from Absolut Vodka and Volvo to Spotify. And a boycot of the popular meatballs dishes at IKEA’s furniture outlets.

One woman was also arrested for vandalizing and threatening to blow up Swedish Embassy In Washington over the star’s trial, which will start on Tuesday.

Sweden’s ambassador to USA was interviewed by Washington Post.

“I honestly did not see this coming,” Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter said told the paper.

In the interview, the ambassador said, “Of course we have racism in our country, like other countries, but this case is absolutely not about racism.” She added that Swedes have been “a little disappointed … and a little hurt” over the doubts cast on the nation’s legal system and “don’t recognize ourselves in the picture that is being portrayed” by the president and other U.S. politicians.

Asked how the situation could be resolved, Olofsdotter said: “This cannot be solved. It’s a legal process. The trial will decide if he’s not guilty, or if he’s guilty what kind of repercussions or punishments.”

In an opinion piece about the incident, Washington Post writes:

“IT’S PERFECTLY acceptable — indeed, it is part of the job — for the president of the United States to speak out in instances when U.S. citizens are victims of gross injustice by foreign countries. That, though, is clearly not what is happening with President Trump’s bizarre efforts on behalf of an American rapper arrested in Sweden. Not only has he attempted to bully Swedish officials into influencing independent court proceedings, but also he has displayed galling hypocrisy. That he reacted more angrily to Sweden’s lawful arrest of A$AP Rocky than to Saudi Arabia’s brutal murder of Virginia resident and Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi tells you everything you need to know about the president’s values and priorities.

It is rich to see Mr. Trump complain about justice in Sweden considering the pass — even nod of approval — he regularly gives to the strong-arm justice that is meted out in countries such as Saudi Arabia, China and the Philippines.

And it is really sad that this president doesn’t realize that justice is not transactional. Relations between the two countries don’t matter. Nor does Mr. Rocky’s celebrity or connections. What matters is that Mr. Rocky receive fair treatment under Swedish law. To date, there is no indication that he won’t.”


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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