Sudan Embassy Protest Ends In Arrest For Rabbis, George Clooney

WASHINGTON -- Numerous religious leaders and four members of Congress were arrested here this morning at a protest outside the Embassy of Sudan. Among those arrested were Rabbi David Saperstein, president of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.); Martin Luther King III and the actor George Clooney.

Also present at the protest were Anglican Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail, of the diocese of Kadugli, capital of the Sudanese state of South Kordofan, and Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Gutow was later arrested, along with Saperstein, Clooney, King and Fred Kramer, executive director of the Jewish World Watch. The arrested congressmen were Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), John Olver (D-Mass.), Al Green (D-Texas) and Moran.

The organized demonstration and expected arrests were the latest step in a decade-long effort to end the genocide and mass starvation of the Sudanese people perpetrated by the government of president Omar al-Bashir.

Following a referendum last year that divided the former Sudan into two nations, Sudan and South Sudan, Bashir's government has carried out bombing raids on civilians in the restive Southern border areas, resulting in an effective blockade of international hunger relief efforts.

Speaking at the rally, Gutow told the crowd of approximately 150 "the inhumane cruelty of Omar al-Bashir's war crimes is too much for us to abide in silence. With one hand he assaults his own people while with the other he holds back those who would seek to help. I am compelled by God, by my commitment to justice, and by my humanity to speak out."

Prior to the demonstration and subsequent arrests, HuffPost spoke to Rabbi Saperstein, Bishop Andudu and Rep. Moran about the role of faith-based communities in making the nation more aware of the suffering of vulnerable populations around the world.

Watch the video at the top of this story.

Video produced by Sara Kenigsberg.