Anti-Discrimination Charges Against Bob Dylan Dropped in France
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 04.16.2014
Regarding comments he made in Rolling Stone…
The Wall Street Journal reports that French prosecutors have dropped the charges against Bob Dylan after he made comments about Croatians that allegedly violated the country's anti-discrimination laws. Legal officials are now looking to indict Rolling Stone's French edition for printing the remarks now.
Last December, Dylan told Rolling Stone in an interview: "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."
After the release of the interview, a Croatian organization based in France said the remark was an example of speech used to incite hatred and strife between racial and ethnic groups and filed preliminary charges. Magistrate Marion Potier dismissed those charges on Monday, April 14. The decision was made on the basis that Dylan conducted the interview with the US version of Rolling Stone without giving the go-head that it would be published in France, where "hate speech" allegations (which are considered a crime in the country) almost always go to trial.
The investigation for Dylan's case was closed after going on for five months. The same charges he faced are now being brought against the French publisher of Rolling Stone, Michael Birnbaum. Birnbaum now faces up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $62,000 for publishing the remarks.