George Clooney freed from jail after arrest at Sudan embassy protest (Video)
George Clooney has been released from a jail in Washington D.C. after he was arrested on Friday, March 16, outside the Sudanese embassy at a demonstration to protest against the violence and humanitarian crisis in the African country.
The 50-year-old actor surrendered his shoelaces and belt before he was booked into the jail. He was placed in a cell with 16 other people who were also detained at the morning gathering. Clooney posted and forfeited a $100 bond, which means that he will likely not be charged - a common prodecure for civil disobedience arrests. He was released that afternoon, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned.
Others who were arrested included Democratic Congressmen, Martin Luther King III and the actor's father, Nick. They were detained on charges of "Disorderly Crossing of a Police Line," according to a spokesperson for the Secret Service.
"They were protesting the violence committed by the government of Sudan on its own innocent men, women and children," Clooney's spokesperson said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com. "They were demanding they allow humanitarian aid into the country before it becomes the largest humanitarian crisis in the world."
Sudan's embassy said the actor could win "yet another Golden Globe" for what it called the "show" that he put on outside the building.
It said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com that the rebels were to blame for the violence against civilians and that the African country's government has been "delivering humanitarian aid to the citizens in order to mitigate the impact while also taking aggressive measures against the rebels in order to ensure security of the innocents." (Check out what else Sudan's embassy said about Clooney.)
Clooney is a United Nations "Messenger of Peace." He has visited the war-torn African nation several times and spent about a week there earlier this month to raise awareness about regional violence. He once contracted malaria during his travels.
During his recent visit, which was videotaped for the Enough Project (warning: graphic material), he witnessed nearby rocket fire and visited survivors of attacks.
The protesters say Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, is responsible for provoking a humanitarian crisis and blocking food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains in the county's border region with South Sudan.
Relations between residents of Sudan, which is mostly Muslim, and the oil-rich South Sudan, whose people are mostly Christian, have soured since a 2005 peace deal and violence in the region has risen, as have disputes over oil production and distribution. The peace agreement ended the country's longest civil war, which lasted for about 20 years and killed more than 2 million people.
On Wednesday, Clooney spoke to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the Satellite Sentinel Project, a group he co-founded that aims to raise awareness about the bloodshed in the region by capturing satellite images of "possible threats to civilians, detect bombed and razed villages or note other evidence of pending mass violence," according to its website.
"What is most striking and most devastating again is the absolutely vulnerability of a certain group of people," Clooney told reporters and activists at the protest, before his arrest.
"It is ethnic in nature and it is again, things that the Geneva Convention considers war crimes, which is indiscriminately bombing innocent civilians," he said. "We have satellite imagery to prove it, we have eyewitnesses to prove it, we have tons of reports and evidence to prove it and we also have & film of it to prove it."