herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Jail was 'nice' says Clooney after release

George Clooney was released on bail from jail after paying a €100 (€75.89) fine over his protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington yesterday.

Speaking alongside his father Nick outside the jail, he said his stay had been "nice", and joked that his girlfriend Stacy Keibler was "probably thrilled" at his arrest.

He and his father were earlier arrested when they joined a protest over the acts of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. Protesters accused 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.

The actor said he has asked President Barack Obama to engage China on stopping a humanitarian crisis in that part of Africa.

The Hollywood star and his father and others were arrested after being warned three times not to cross a police line outside the embassy. Those taken into custody included civil rights leaders Ben Jealous, Martin Luther King III, and actor and comedian Dick Gregory. Several members of Congress were also arrested.

They were handcuffed and placed into a US Secret Service van.

The arrests came after Mr Clooney met this week with Mr Obama, testified in the Senate and attended a state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.



ATTENTION

Mr Clooney said before he was arrested that he could only hope to draw attention to the crisis in Sudan but that he did not know if any progress had been made. He said he was impressed, though, with Mr Obama's engagement on the issue. "It's amazing to sit down with a world leader who knows all of the intricacies of what's going on in Sudan," he said. The actor said he asked Mr Obama to involve China more in pushing for a solution in Sudan. A YouTube video Mr Clooney recently posted online from his trip to Sudan appears to show a Chinese-made missile being used against the Nuba community. Mr Clooney said international leaders need to "follow the money" flowing to Sudan's leaders to expose corruption.

"This is a moment where we have a chance to do something because if we don't, in the next three to four months, there's going to be a real humanitarian disaster," Mr Clooney said before his arrest. The situation is urgent, he said, because the upcoming rainy season would block transportation of food aid to the area.

hnews@herald.ie

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