Amnesty Int’l: LGBT soldiers face abuse in South Korea military

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07/11/2019

A law that criminalizes consensual sex between men in the South Korean military is leading to violence and harassment against gay and trans soldiers and should be abolished, an Amnesty International report released on Thursday said. The report, “Serving in Silence: LGBTI People in South Korea’s Military,” details an atmosphere of mental and physical abuse that soldiers face under Article 92-6 of the country’s Military Criminal Act. The 1962 criminal article, which has been increasingly applied in recent years, makes sexual relations between men in the military punishable by up two years in prison. “South Korea’s military must stop treating LGBTI people as the enemy,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International. “The criminalization of same-sex sexual activity is devastating for the lives of so many LGBTI soldiers and has repercussions in the broader society.” Amnesty International researchers interviewed 21 current and former soldiers who reported verbal intimidation, physical abuse and unwanted outing in a climate where discrimination is tolerated and even encouraged.

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