Charges filed against Bob Dylan in France

Singer accused of inciting hate over article in which he is quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

Last updated: 03 Dec 2013 16:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Last November, the famous American artist was awarded France's Legion d'Honneur [AFP]

French authorities have filed preliminary charges against Bob Dylan over a 2012 interview in which he was quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office in Paris, said on Tuesday that the charges of "public insult and inciting hate" were filed in mid-November.

The charges stemmed from a lawsuit by a Croatian community group in France over an interview in Rolling Stone magazine.

In the interview, published in the magazine's September 27, 2012 edition, the singer said racism was holding America back.

"If you got a slave master or (Ku Klux) Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that," he was quoted as saying.

"That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."

The group alleged that the comments as carried in the French version of the magazine violated French racial hatred laws.

'A subversive cultural force'

France has strict laws punishing hate speech and racist remarks. Racism complaints automatically trigger formal investigations, irrespective of the merits of the case.

A lawyer for the group, Ivan Jurasinovic, said they were not seeking monetary damages but only want the legendary singer to apologise to the Croatian people for the comments.

Representatives for Dylan could not immediately be reached for comment.

Only last month, Dylan was awarded the prestigious Legion d'Honneur in Paris.

The Culture Minister, Aurelie Filippetti, had said that for French people he embodied a "subversive cultural force that can change people and the world".


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list