The Hollywood actress Hilary Swank has announced that she is donating to charity her fees for attending a controversial event in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
Swank, a two-time Academy Award winner, made the announcement on October 14 and apologized after being criticized by human rights groups for attending the event in Grozny on October 5.
The event coincided with the 35th birthday of Kremlin-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been linked to human rights abuses.
Swank has said she “deeply regrets” taking part in the Grozny celebration, saying she was unaware of Kadyrov’s links to abductions and executions in connection with the Chechen conflict.
Swank’s publicist, Carrie Gordon, said in a statement that the American actress decided to attend “because the construction project was described to her as a symbol of hope for the people of Chechnya.”
The statement added that Swank, not wanting to be rude, obliged when the event’s organizers requested that she wish the president a “happy birthday.”
Hollywood actors Jean-Claude Van Damme and violinist Vanessa Mae also took part in the Grozny gala.
compiled from agency reports