Jean-Claude Van Damme and Hilary Swank are being criticized by Human Rights Watch for attending the Oct. 5 birthday party for Chechnyan President Ramzan Kadyrov. They are pictured above at said party. HRW is calling for any stars who were at the party to repay any money they were paid to attend.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, HRW says, “Ramzan Kadyrov is linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses.
It’s inappropriate for stars to get paid to party with him. It bolsters
his image and legitimizes a brutal leader and his regime. And getting
paid to be part of such a lavish show in Chechnya trivializes the
suffering of countless victims of human rights abuses there.”
The HRW maintains Kadyrov presides over law enforcement agencies that have been allegedly involved in torture and executions of those involved in the Islamic insurgency in Chechnya. The Human Rights Foundation says Swank was told of Kadyrov’s alleged activities but attended the party anyway.
Also according to the HRF, Van Damme said on stage, “I love you, Mr. Kadyrov” and Swank wished him a happy birthday. It is not uncommon for many celebrities to be paid up to six figures for attending events such as this one.