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Tilda Swinton Donates $2K to Russian LGBT Activist’s Funeral

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Oct 1, 2013
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Actress Tilda Swinton donated more than $2,000 to help pay for the funeral of a prominent LGBT activist who died last week, Queerty reports.

Swinton gave more than $2,000 through an online donation service created by leading LGBT Russian activist Nikolai Alexeyev to help pay for Alexey Davydov’s burial.

Davydov, 36, died on Friday in Moscow after slipping into a coma. The cause of death is currently unknown but Pavel Chikov, the activist’s legal aid, told BuzzFeed that Davydov’s death may be the result of a police beating.

"During the month he spent in the hospital with multiple fractures, Davydov - who was also diabetic - learned that he had acute kidney failure and subsequently spent large amounts of time undergoing dialysis," Chikov told the website. "Police, however, claimed that they did not break Davydov’s arm; neither they nor the Investigative Committee, Russia’s equivalent of the FBI, began proceedings to look into the beating."

A representative for Swinton confirmed to the Huffington Post on Monday that the actress made the generous donation.

"BRAVO and HUGE THANKS to British actress Tilda Swinton for the donation to cover the funerals of our friend and activist Alexey Davydov," Alexeyev tweeted on Sept. 28.

According to Protest Watch, Alexeyev thanked all donors who contributed to Davydov’s funeral.

"Thanks to all who took part in this generous civil act... Alexey was a hero and now he will have a fitting funeral," Alexeyev said. "I am pleased we were able to help in our small way but all the credit belongs to the generous donors and Alexey’s brave activist friends."

The Academy Award-winning actress is one of the many celebrities who have condemned Russia’s highly controversial anti-gay law. In July, Swinton protested the measure, which Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law on June 30, by proudly holding a rainbow flag in front of Moscow’s Kremlin. The photograph went viral and spread across social media websites, like Facebook and Twitter.

"In solidarity. From Russia with love," Swinton said in a statement.

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