George Clooney arrested in planned protest at Sudanese embassy

Ryan Devereaux in New York, Guardian :  Actor and activist George Clooney has been arrested while protesting in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington, DC.

Clooney was protesting against human rights abuses by the Sudanese government. He had announced his protest in advance and intended to be arrested.oined by his father, journalist Nick Clooney, US Representative Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP president Ben Jealous, the actor blocked the entrance to the Sudanese embassy. Clooney and the others were given three orders to disperse by the police and refused to do so.

With his hands cuffed behind his back in white zip-ties, Clooney addressed the plight of “innocent children” in Sudan.

“Stop raping them and stop starving them,” he told the media scrum. “That’s all that we ask.”

As he was led into a police van an onlooker shouted, “Thank you, George!”

Clooney has been in the capital since returning from a tour of Sudan two days ago. On Wednesday he testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the subject of violence in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, a state in Sudan near its border with newly independent South Sudan.

Clooney has called on US officials to pressure the Chinese government to force the government of Sudan to open the southern region of the country to relief efforts. As the rainy season approaches, large numbers of the region’s inhabitants could face starvation.

On Wednesday, Clooney met President Barack Obama to express his concerns for the people of Sudan. According to Clooney, President Obama promised to press Chinese president Hu Jintao on the issue at an upcoming bilateral meeting.

He appeared on NBC’s Today show earlier this week to explain his stance.

For years the Hollywood heavyweight has highlighted issues in Sudan and has traveled to the region extensively.

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