George Clooney arrested at a protest in front of Sudanese Embassy in Washington
George Clooney has been arrested for civil disobedience at a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.
George Clooney, 50, was taking part in a protest to warn of a humanitarian crisis in the volatile border area between Sudan and South Sudan.
The actor, his father Nick and a number of other protesters had been given three verbal warnings by police not to cross a police line outside the embassy before being taken into custody.
The protesters had accused Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, of provoking a humanitarian crisis and blocking food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains in the county’s border region with South Sudan.
“We are here really to ask two very simple questions,” George Clooney had said shortly before his arrest, according a report on CNN.
“The first question is something immediate – and immediately we need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”
George Clooney added that the second thing he was there “is for the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them”.
Others protestors, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were also arrested.
They were all handcuffed and placed into a U.S. Secret Service van.
The group held a sign that read: “Sudan: Stop Weapons of Mass Starvation.”
George Clooney said that he hopes to draw more attention to the issue and is impressed with President Barack Obama’s personal engagement on it.
The actor also said that if action is not taken in the next three to four months “we’re going to have a real humanitarian disaster”.
Secret Service spokesman George Oglivie said: “George Clooney was arrested for crossing a police line at the Sudan embassy and he’ll be transported to the Metropolitan police department second district.”
Also arrested were Martin Luther King III, son of the civil rights leader; Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern; Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran; and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Ben Jealous, said George Oglivie.
George Clooney’s arrest comes a day after he met President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss the Sudan situation.
The actor recently secretly travelled across the border to the Nuba Mountains in Sudan, where his group apparently witnessed a rocket attack.
George Clooney told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week that what was happening in the region was “ominously similar” to the violence in Darfur.
The UN estimates that nearly 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million been displaced since the Darfur conflict broke out in 2003.
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