U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) was one of five members of Congress arrested Friday during a peaceful protest at the Sudanese Embassy. The lawmakers, arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, were protesting the Sudanese government's role in atrocities in the Darfur region.
"The Sudanese government is carrying out a horrible genocide in Darfur," Moran said in a statement. "They are rebuffing attempts to allow U.N. forces into the region that would bolster the African Union soldiers currently struggling unsuccessfully to quell the violence. This demonstration was an effort to bring the atrocities sanctioned by the Sudanese government against their own people to their own embassy's doorstep."
Nearly 400,000 people have been killed in the Darfur region of Sudan by government officials and the Janjaweed militia. An estimated 3.5 million Sudanese people have been displaced from their homes since 2003.
Also arrested were U.S. Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), John W. Olver (D-Mass.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), and six other protesters.
As dozens of demonstrators looked on, U.S. Secret Service uniformed officers arrested Moran, put him in plastic handcuffs and placed him in a police van. He was released after processing at a D.C. police station and paying a $50 fine.