George Clooney, the Academy Award-winning movie actor, was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington while protesting attacks by the African nation’s government on its southern regions and blocking of humanitarian aid.
Clooney, 50, was taken into custody yesterday and charged with crossing a police line, a misdemeanor, according to George Ogilvie, a Secret Service spokesman. He was taken to a police station for processing, Ogilvie said.
He paid a $100 penalty and was released, according to Gwendolyn Crump, a police spokeswoman.
Sixteen others arrested in the group that was protesting included NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, Martin Luther King III and Democratic U.S. representatives Jim Moran and Jim McGovern, according to Ogilvie.
The Hollywood star testified March 14 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee claiming the Sudanese government was killing its own people and blocking aid to the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile regions.
That evening, he was among the guests invited by President Barack Obama to a state dinner honoring U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
Clooney, at the Senate hearing, described a visit this month to southern Sudan where he witnessed hundreds of people seeking to hide in caves from Sudanese bombings.
“The south has all of its oil and the north has the pipelines and refineries,” he told senators. “For years, the north has been taking the oil and keeping most of the profits, buying bombs and rockets and using them on Darfur, the Blue Nile, Abyei and the Nuba mountains.”
Clooney won the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role in 2005 for his performance in “Syriana.” He has been nominated once for directing, twice for screenwriting and three times for best actor in a leading role, according to the motion picture Academy.