Shakira denies plans to sing for Chechnya leader
Pop star Shakira denied reports Thursday that she had been booked to perform at a birthday celebration for the leader of the war-torn Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.
"Contrary to any misreporting, Shakira is not performing nor was she ever booked to perform a gig for the Chechen president or government," according to a Twitter message by the Colombian singer confirmed as authentic by her spokeswoman Shoshanna Stone.
Last week, sources in Russia's war-ravaged Chechnya region in the North Caucasus said Shakira would be attending the leader's 35th birthday celebration with other notables such as US film stars Kevin Costner, Hilary Swank and Eva Mendes, along with British violinist Vanessa-Mae.
Kadyrov, who has ruled the war-torn region since 2007 and was reappointed to the post earlier this year, has overseen several grandiose projects and events in Grozny aimed at boosting his political clout.
But rights groups have long accused him of presiding over a personal militia that they say has carried out serial rights violations, torture and even murder.
© 2011 AFP