French authorities charge Bob Dylan over Nazi remarks in interview


A 2012 interview in Rolling Stone magazine is coming back to haunt Minnesota music icon Bob Dylan.

The Associated Press reported that French authorities have filed preliminary charges of “public insult and inciting hate” against the Hibbing native following statements he made in the Sept. 27, 2012, interview.

The charges, confirmed by a Paris prosecutor's spokeswoman, stem from a lawsuit filed by a French-based Croatian group. The group claims Dylan's statements violated the country's racial hatred laws.

In the Rolling Stone piece, Dylan compares Croatians to Nazis in reference to the ethnic warfare between the Serbs and Croatians in the Balkan conflict the 1990s.

"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," Dylan said in the interview. "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."

France's racial hatred law "criminalizes incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, or violence on the basis of one's origin or membership (or non-membership) in an ethic, national, racial, or religious group," according to The Legal Project.

The AP said Dylan was charged last month while he was in Paris to accept France's Legion d'Honneur award, but weren't publicly confirmed by officials until this week.

If he loses the lawsuit, Dylan may face fines, the Huffington Post said.

Slate reported that the Croatian group is only seeking an apology in the matter.

France is home to about 30,000 Croatians, the AP said.

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