Kony 2012 campaigner detained

Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell has been detained and hospitalised after going on an alleged public rampage on the streets of San Diego, USA.

Russell is a co-founder of the US-based charity, and the director of the ‘Kony 2012’ marketing video that we wrote of last week, which has now been watched by over 80 million people. The video calls for the location and apprehension of Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group.

Russell was detained after allegedly suffering a mental breakdown as a result of the global prominence of the video – and the reaction is has received. Although it has been watched by millions, Invisible Children’s ‘Kony 2012’ campaign has been heavily criticised by a range of academics, aid organisations and media correspondents.

Russell was detained by police San Diego “at about 11.30am on Thursday after being spotted apparently nude in the street, screaming and interfering with traffic,” according to reports. He is alleged to have been making sexual gestures and beating the sidewalk with his fists.

Invisible Children released a brief statement, saying:

“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalised suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better…the past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.”

As we blogged back in January, US president Barack Obama has pledged 100 American special forces soldiers to Kampala to help Uganda track down the LRA chief.

Find out more with the following back issues of the Africa Research Bulletin

US Backs LRA Hunt (Political, Social and Cultural Series, Vol 48 no 10) 

Uganda: Increased Defence Budget (Political, Social and Cultural Series, Vol 48 no 8) 

DR Congo. LRA Killings.  P 18912c (Political, Social and Cultural Series, Vol 48 no 7) 

Child Soldier Recruitment Continues (Political, Social and Cultural Series, Vol 48 no 4) 

LRA Attack (Political, Social and Cultural Series, Vol 48 no 3) 

Subscribe to the Africa Research Bulletin today