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Burma human rights campaigner re-enacts crucifixion

British-Australian Catholic human rights campaigner James Mawdsley has appealed for help for the world's oppressed at a re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion.

Mr Mawdsley was taking part in the Good Friday ceremony in central London.

He was freed in October from a Burmese prison after serving 14 months of a 17-year prison sentence for distributing pro-democracy leaflets,

Mr Mawdsley, who said his Catholic faith helped him during his incarceration, told the congregation: "Like our Lord, people are suffering, and suffering unto death. Other people are dying slow, cruel and agonising deaths."

A-level student Yohannes Hailelul, 18, from St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College, west London, carried a cross through Westminster at noon, helped by Mr Mawdsley, who was wearing a sober grey suit.

Mr Mawdsley spent 416 days in solitary confinement in Burma's Kengtung prison, during which his nose was broken and he was given contaminated food after he wrote protest slogans in his cell.

The procession met opposite Westminster Abbey for a gospel reading from Foreign Office minister Baroness Scotland, who worked for Mr Mawdsley's release.

It then marched to Westminster Cathedral for reflections by Mr Mawdsley and messages from the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Monsignor George Stack beneath the 50ft tall Jubilee Cross.