Europe

German rapper Schwesta Ewa opens up about jail away from daughter

German rapper "Schwesta Ewa" attends her trial in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, 8 June 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rapper Schwesta Ewa said she feared losing the bond shared with her daughter Aaliyah

German rapper Schwesta Ewa has opened up on social media about beginning a two-and-a-half year prison term away from her one-year-old daughter.

Ewa, 35, was found guilty in 2017 of physical assault and tax evasion.

But it was only after Germany's Federal Court of Justice confirmed the sentence that she was imprisoned on Sunday.

Ewa gave birth to her daughter Aaliyah last January, but has been denied entry to a facility that allows mothers close contact with their young children.

She will, however, be able to see Aaliyah through a limited number of supervised visits.

Meanwhile, Aaliyah will be cared for by relatives at Ewa's home in Düsseldorf.

In an Instagram post to her 600,000 followers earlier this month, Ewa said she was struggling to "mentally prepare" for her prison term.

"In the evening I cry alone in bed... my baby is simply separated from me in the most important phase of life," she wrote.

"I count the hours, it drives me insane," she added.

The rapper said on social media that since giving birth to Aaliyah in January 2019, she has worked with welfare authorities in Germany and received positive reports for her behaviour.

However, due to her record of violence she was denied a place at Fröndenberg prison, which has an "open unit" that provides mothers with apartments and appliances they can share with their children.

Instead she is serving her sentence at Düsseldorf's Willich 2 prison.

Polish-born Schwesta Ewa, whose real name is Ewa Malanda, was handed a prison sentence after she was found guilty of 35 acts of physical assault on several women who she was accused of forcing into prostitution.

At her 2017 trial, the women admitted that they had agreed to become sex workers, and Ewa was cleared of a further charge of trafficking.

Ewa, who has claimed in previous interviews that she was herself a sex worker before becoming a musician, was also convicted of evading €60,000 ($66,000; £51,300) in taxes.

German law does not see pregnancy or motherhood as grounds to overrule a prison sentence.

About 100,000 children in Germany have at least one parent incarcerated.

In 2018 the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that just nine of Germany's 16 federal states had special facilities for mothers and young children to live together.

Such places are very limited - just 68 in open prisons and 37 in closed prisons, the paper reported.

Before entering prison on Sunday evening, Ewa said: "I never want to have anything to do with anything criminal or illegal again."

In recent months, the singer had reportedly been working on her third album, which is dedicated to her daughter and scheduled for release on 31 January.

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