Academy Award-winning American actor George Clooney was arrested in Washington Friday during a protest over the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
Clooney was the star attraction at a protest outside the Sudanese embassy.
The demonstrators accuse Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir of provoking a humanitarian crisis by blocking food and aid deliveries to people in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions.
“Immediately, we need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, immediately,” said Clooney.
Clooney, on a recent visit to Sudan, saw people fleeing in terror to the hills and into caves because of the constant buzzing of government planes dropping bombs meant for insurgents, but frequently killing civilians.
The conflict severely hinders agriculture in the region, leading to fears of famine for hundreds of thousands of people.
“The second thing we are here to ask is a very simple thing, is for the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them. That is all we ask,” said the actor and activist
Clooney was swarmed by flashing cameras and TV crews, as hundreds of demonstrators waved signs and chanted slogans.
Selma Talhagebril is from the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
“It is unacceptable what is happening in Sudan. We need to stop the violence. We need to stop giving arms to the children. We need to stop having children soldiers. We need to stop starvation. We need to stop what happened in Sudan because that would never happen in any western country,” said Talhagebril.
Police arrested Clooney, his father, Nick, several members of the U.S. Congress and religious and civil rights leaders after warning them several times not to cross a police line in front of the embassy. They were released several hours later.