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Clooney in cuffs over Sudan protest

George Clooney was arrested outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington as he protested against the actions of the Khartoum government. It was his first ever arrest. "Let’s hope it’s my last," he said.

The actor has become the high-profile focus of a campaign to highlight the situation in Sudan. He accused the Sudan government of orchestrating systematic killing in the Nuba mountains region, on the boder region with the newly-independent state of South Sudan.

"I'm just trying to raise attention," Clooney said, as he was arrested for blocking the embassy entrance. He said that the Sudanese government were attacking innocent children "Stop raping them and stop starving them," he said. "That's all that we ask."

Clooney is one of Hollywood’s most prominent supporters of political causes, but unlike many supposed activists, he is prepared to engage with an issue in depth and commit his time and support.

He recently returned from a visit to Sudan and offered testimony to the Senate foreign relations committee, in addition to discussing the region with President Obama. Clooney wants the US to ask the Chinese government to pressurise Sudan, to allow humanitarian aid and supplies to reach the area.

Clooney wasn’t proud of his arrest, but hoped it would be valuable publicity. "It's actually a humiliating thing to be arrested no matter what you do, but I'm glad to be standing here with my father," Clooney said. After posting bail, Clooney hoped his arrest had increased awareness of the issue. "You never know if you are accomplishing anything . . . We hope it helps."

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