Folk rocker Bob Dylan is no longer facing prosecution in France over allegations that he’d incited racial hatred in a magazine interview.
This week a French magistrate threw the case against Dylan out of court.
Local police launched an investigation in 2013 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 Rolling Stone, 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 outrage among officials at France’s Council of Croats, who claimed the remarks violated the country’s anti-discrimination laws.
But this week a magistrate dismissed the case against Dylan, which had been 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 because 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 trial for inciting racial hatred and public insults of a racial nature.
In a strange twist, Dylan was awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur, in late 2013 for his services to the nation.