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|Friday, March 30, 2001, updated at 13:57(GMT+8)|
15 Falun Gong Activists Sentenced to Jail & Fine in SingaporeSingapore Magistrate Court Thursday imposed sentences to 15 Falun Gong convicts under the charges of illegal assembly and obstruction to police duty.
Judge Carol Ling sentenced each of the seven who were convicted of obstructing policemen from carrying out their duties to an imprisonment term of four weeks and each of the other eight convicted of participating an assembly without a permit to a fine of 1000 Singapore dollars (about US$570).
In the court verdict, the judge outlined the facts of the offenses of the accused persons and said that these "salient facts " are "incontrovertible" and have been admitted to by each of the accused persons.
The judge stressed that the public interest in this case lies in the need to ensure that law and order is maintained.
After the court finished the proceedings, local and foreign reporters asked for comments of Liu Yantao, First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore. Liu responded that the imposition of the sentences on these Falun Gong activists is an normal law action carried out by Singapore as a sovereign state for the purpose of maintaining social stability and cracking down criminals and the law actions undertaken in the case are totally Singapore's internal affairs.
He said he was sorry because some Chinese citizens took part in Falun Gong activities, broke Singapore laws and finally had no choice but to be punished by laws.
The Chinese diplomat also voiced his indignation that a few of the convicted Falun Gong activists availed themselves the chance of reading their guilt pleas before the court to slander and defame the Chinese government and the Chinese Embassy in Singapore through fabricating facts and inventing stories.
The 15 Falun Gong activists, nine males and six females and including 13 Chinese citizens, were charged for gathering near a carpark at Singapore's MacRitchie Reservoir without a permit on December 31 last year and arrested after they had defied police orders to disperse and blocked police officers from carrying their duties.
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