Hillary Swank Apologizes for Attending Dictator’s Birthday Party

Thursday, 13 Oct 2011 02:53 PM

By James Hirsen

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Following a negative reaction to reports that she had attended the birthday party of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, an alleged human rights violator, Hillary Swank issued a public apology.

"I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights," the Oscar winning actress said in a statement.

"I would never intentionally do anything that raised doubts about such commitment. I will continue to donate my time and my financial resources not only to the charities with which I am currently affiliated, but also those dedicated to the preservation of human rights. If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone," Swank indicated.

The Oct. 5 event in Chechnya's capital of Grozny featured a concert and segment in which Swank and other celebrities took to the stage to pay tribute to Kadyrov.

Action star Jean Claude Van Damme and British violist Vanessa Mae made an appearance at the event as well. Kevin Costner, Shakira, and Eva Mendes had been asked to attend but turned down the invitations.

Swank reportedly commended the Kadyrov government for its "passion to make peace and to make something beautiful."

The Chechen leader has been accused of torture and murder, and of making numerous individuals' whereabouts unknown.

The Human Rights Foundation claims to have sent Swank and other participating celebrities a letter prior to the event, which set forth Kadyrov’s alleged human rights violations.

CBS news reported that Swank’s manager had said that at the time of her visit the actress was unaware of the allegations against Kadyrov.

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