Last week, Hilary Swank and Jean Claude Van Damme attended a lavish birthday party for Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya who has been accused by human rights organizations of using terrible violence to suppress an insurgency. In response, the Human Rights Watch has released a statement criticizing the stars for their participation in the event. Ugh, right? It’s like, can’t these poor stars just go to a birthday party without having to be CONDEMNED by HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH?! Poor stars. They are just like us only a little bit sadder because of the press releases. From the Hollywood Reporter:
In a statement to THR, Human Rights Watch called on stars who attended the party for Kadyrov to reimburse any money that they were paid to participate. “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 organization said.
According to Human Rights Watch, Kadyrov presides over law enforcement and security agencies that have been implicated in abductions, torture and executions of those suspected of involvement in the Islamist insurgency in Chechnya. Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, called the stars’ attendance at the celebration “disheartening and shameful.”
Yiiiiikes. Hahahahha. What are we even talking about here? Hilary Swank? Jean Claude Van Damme? Sick party, dude. It’s totally worth it that you govern your territories with a blood-soaked iron fist because if it weren’t for wielding that kind of fearsome power, who knows if Hilary Swank and Jean Claude Van Damme would have even come to your 35th birthday party? It’s like, we all wish we weren’t murderous dictators, but hey, it’s got its perks! Two perks! And those perks are named Hilary Swank and Jean Claude Van Damme.
Actually, my favorite part of the whole scandal are the fames who DIDN’T make it out to Chechnya (but wanted to):
Kevin Costner was invited to the Oct. 5 event but declined due to his production schedule on the Hatfields and McCoys television series — a development that in retrospect, was a gift from the public-relations gods. Eva Mendes and Colombian singer Shakira also were invited but did not attend. A spokesman for Mendes says the actress was never scheduled to attend the event “due to availability.”
Kevin Costner and Eva Mendes are so sorry they couldn’t make it. They wanted to, but the scheduling between the production of their television shows and the human rights abusing Chechnyan leader’s birthday IN CHECHNYA was simply too difficult to work out. Hope to see you next year, buddy. 36 years YOUNG!