Clooney arrested in protest at Sudanese Embassy
Actor George Clooney, and his father Nick Clooney, take part in a protest at the Sudan Embassy in Washington, Friday, March 16, 2012. The demonstrators are protesting the escalating humanitarian emergency in Sudan that threatens the lives of 500,000 people. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
WASHINGTON (AP) — George Clooney and his father were arrested Friday during a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy, and the actor said he has asked President Barack Obama to engage China on stopping a humanitarian crisis in northern Africa.
The protesters accuse Sudanese 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.
Clooney, his father, Nick Clooney, and others were arrested after being warned three times not to cross a police line outside the embassy. Those taken into custody included NAACP President Ben Jealous, Martin Luther King III, and actor and comedian Dick Gregory.
Actor George Clooney, center, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va, back, and Clooney's father, Nick Clooney, right, are arrested during a protest at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, Friday, March 16, 2012. The demonstrators are protesting the escalating humanitarian emergency in Sudan that threatens the lives of 500,000 people. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Several members of Congress also were arrested, including Massachusetts Reps. James McGovern and John Olver, Texas Rep. Al Green and Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia. They were handcuffed and placed into a U.S. Secret Service van.
Clooney was released several hours later after paying a $100 fine.
The arrests came after Clooney met this week with Obama, testified in the Senate and attended a state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Clooney told The Associated Press before he was arrested that he can only hope to draw attention to the crisis in Sudan but that he doesn't know if any progress has been made. He said he was impressed, though, with Obama's engagement on the issue.