George Clooney Arrested in Sudan Protest

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(Photo credit: CNN)

By the CNN Wire Staff

WASHINGTON — Police arrested actor George Clooney on Friday during a protest at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

“We are here really to ask two very simple questions,” Clooney said moments before his arrest. “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.”

The second thing, he said, “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’s all we ask.”

Clooney met with President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss his concerns about Sudan.

He testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week about violence in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, a state in Sudan near its border with newly independent South Sudan.

Clooney and other activists blame the Sudanese government for attacks there that have injured and killed civilians.

Clooney told the Senate committee that the attacks are being orchestrated by Sudan’s government, led by President Omar al-Bashir, government official Ahmad Harun and Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein — the same three men, he said, who previously orchestrated long-documented attacks in Darfur.

“What you see is a constant drip of fear,” testified Clooney, who just returned from a trip to Sudan. “We found children filled with shrapnel, including a 9-year-old boy who had both of his hands blown off.”

This month the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Hussein, listing 41 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in the Darfur region of Sudan. Al-Bashir and Harun are also facing war crimes charges involving Darfur.

Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project, which uses satellite imagery to watch for aerial attacks and troop movements in Sudan and South Sudan, which became a separate country last year.

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