Bob Dylan: Singer-songwriter charged with incitement to racial hatred in France
The musician likened Croatians to Nazis and slave owners
Bob Dylan has been charged with incitement to racial hatred following an investigation in France into comments he made likening Croats to Nazis and slave owners.
According to the AFP, the legendary singer-songwriter was questioned and eventually charged last month, after the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) filed a lawsuit in relation to an interview he gave to French Rolling Stone in 2012.
Dylan, who was one of the public faces of the civil rights movement in the US during the 1960s, made the comments when asked how much he felt America had progressed since the Civil War in the 19th century.
“This country is just too f***** up about colour. It's a distraction. People at each others' throats just because they are of a different colour. It's the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back - or any neighbourhood back. Or any anything back,” Dylan said.
“Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or 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.”
CRICCF secretary general Vlatko Maric confirmed that Parisian courts have agreed to hear the case and have requested Dylan’s presence during the hearing, the International Business Times reports.
In a statement, Maric said: “It is an incitement to hatred. You cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats. But we have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer. ”
There are greater restrictions on freedom of speech in France than there are in the US, and if Dylan is found guilty of racism, he could face a fine.
His remarks have already had a knock-on effect in the country, with several Croatian radio stations removing his music from their playlists.
The news comes just weeks after the star was given the Legion of Honour, the most prestigious award in France.
The star last played in Croatia back in 2010. He also performed in Belgrade shortly before Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Dylan recently unveiled his first ever music video to “Like a Rolling Stone”, almost 50 years after it was released.
A representative for Bob Dylan is yet to comment on the news.
Video: Croatians vote to ban gay marriage
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
Top Gear makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells Independent Bath Literature Festival
Rachel Riley 'in line to replace Susanna Reid' on BBC Breakfast
Jenny Collier row: Comedy promoter apologises after dropping female comic 'because venue did not want too many women on the bill'
Lena Dunham strips naked for Girls spoof while hosting Saturday Night Live
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time