|The Kony 2012 video went viral highlighting the alleged crimes of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony [AP]|
The co-founder of Invisible Children has been taken to hospital in San Diego, California, following what the group called an “unfortunate incident” after he was reportedly found half-naked and screaming at traffic.
Jason Russell narrated the Kony 2012 campaign video which went viral on the internet last week.
Russell was taken to hospital on Thursday “sufffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition,” Ben Keesey, Invisible Children’s CEO, said in a statement.
“The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday,” Keesey said without providing details.
“Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue.”
A San Diego police spokeswoman, asked about media reports that Russell had been detained, said only that a 33-year-old white man had been taken to a medical facility on Thursday morning.
“The San Diego Police Department received several calls that he was acting bizarrely, running into traffic, interfering with traffic, yelling,” police spokeswoman Lieutenant Andra Brown told the AFP news agency.
She said officers detained the man, who according to witnesses was in “various stages of undress,” but did not arrest him after deciding it was better to take him to a medical facility. She declined to name him.
The video Russell directed became an internet sensation this month, racking up nearly 80 million hits on YouTube since it was posted with the aim of raising awareness concerning alleged atrocities committed by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, including kidnapping children and forcing them to fight.
The video has polarised opinion, as supporters of Invisible Children say the campaign simplifies a complex issue, yet questions have also been raised about Invisible Children’s agenda.
Celebrities including George Clooney, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey had announced their support for the cause.