French Racial Hatred Charges Against Bob Dylan Dropped

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April 16, 2014 | 6:55pm EST

Folk rocker Bob Dylan is no longer facing prosecution in France over allegations of inciting racial hatred in a magazine interview after the case was thrown out of court.
Last year, local police launched an investigation into remarks the singer/songwriter had made to Rolling Stone in 2012, when he was quizzed about his views on racism in America.
In the interview, which was also published in the French edition of the title, the singer was quoted as saying, “If you got a slave master or (Ku Klux) Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”
His comments caused outraged among officials at France’s Council of Croats, who claimed the remarks violated the country’s anti-discrimination laws.
But, earlier this week, a court magistrate dismissed the charges, which were brought by representatives from the Council of the Croat Community and Institutions of France (CRICCF).
Dylan’s French lawyer, Thierry Marembert, revealed the magistrate had ruled the musician could not be held accountable for the remarks being published in France as he had not consented to having the interview printed in Rolling Stone’s French edition.
However, similar charges against the editor of the French version of the magazine have been upheld and he will now face a trial for inciting racial hatred and public insults of a racial nature.
Ironically, Dylan was awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur medal, in late 2013 for his services to the nation.
Tensions between Serbians and Croatians throughout Europe have been on high since the late 1980s, prior to Croatia splitting from Yugoslavia in 1991.

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