Singapore Expels Four Falun Gong Members for Vigil

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore said on Friday it will expel four members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement who had been jailed for obstructing police in a New Year's Eve vigil.

Fifteen adherents -- 13 Chinese nationals and two Singaporeans -- were arrested on December 31 for holding an illegal assembly commemorating members the movement says died in jails in China.

Seven were sentenced to four weeks in jail in March for obstructing police and the others were given the maximum fine of $555 for holding a rally without a permit.

The jailed members were released on Wednesday.

One member will have her permanent resident status revoked because of active involvement in various illegal gatherings for which she was previously warned, the immigration department said.

Two others will have their student passes canceled while a third student, whose pass had expired and extended his stay on a tourist visa for the court case, will not get that renewed.

Another Chinese national had her employment pass canceled by her employer and has already left the country.

Arrangements would be made to allow those expelled to settle personal matters before leaving.

Falun Gong, which Chinese authorities have denounced as an evil cult and banned, is legally registered in Singapore but the city-state requires all organizations to seek a permit to gather in public.

The movement, also known as Falun Dafa, combines meditation and exercise with a doctrine loosely rooted in Buddhist and Taoist teachings.