The South Korean army allegedly used an online dating app to track down its gay soldiers. They used fake accounts to deceive soldiers into revealing their sexual identity.
According to a watchdog group, South Korea's army is on a mission to hunt down gay service members and prosecute them after a sex video of two gay soldiers was posted on the internet.
Lim Tae-hoon, the head Center for Military Human Rights, which tracks abuse in the armed forces, said military investigators allegedly threatened soldiers to stay away from their gay peers, confiscated cell phones to trace communications and used dating apps to snare gay service members.
"We have secured evidence the army's central investigators used a gay-specialized dating application to employ trap investigation techniques while violating the soldiers' human rights," said Lim.
"We will file a petition regarding army chief of staff Gen. Jang Jun-kyu and [three others] with the National Human Rights Commission of Korea."
“The army has infringed on the realms of privacy and is falsely claiming that these soldiers committed wrongdoings,” he mentioned.
"The soldiers who are being investigated had sex with their partners under mutual consent and not inside the barracks. The soldiers who are being investigated had sex with their partners under mutual consent and not inside the barracks." “
The sex video of two soldiers that was uploaded on the internet is a violation of South Korea’s communications laws, while a military penal code makes homosexual activity punishable by up to two years in jail.
The army denied allegations of being on a mission to weed out its gay soldiers, although they are conducting a proper criminal investigation for the footage.
Gay men are not exempted from serving the country, but while serving they are banned from engaging in homosexual activity in lieu of intolerance and retaliation in the conservative country.
"South Korea's military doesn't exclude gay men from compulsory duty, but once they enter the military, they are seen as dangerous and treated as potential criminals, as the ongoing army investigation shows," said Han Ga-ram, an openly gay human rights lawyer.
"The army will continue to deal with activities that disrupt the discipline of troops based on related laws," the army said in a statement.