S.Korean army accused of targeting gay soldiers

South Korean army soldiers walk to board a train at Seoul Railway Station on Thursday, April 20. (AP photo)

SEOUL - A watchdog group says South Korea's army is hunting down and prosecuting gay servicemen after a video of two male soldiers having sex was posted on the internet earlier this year, stoking fear in an already persecuted minority group.

Military investigators looking into the case have threatened soldiers to make them out their gay peers, confiscated cellphones to check communication records, and even used dating apps to dupe soldiers into revealing their sexual identity, accoording to Taehoon Lim, head of the Military Human Rights Centre for Korea, which tracks down abuses in the armed forces.

South Korea's army says it is conducting a proper criminal investigation into soldiers allegedly involved with filming and uploading the video, which is a violation of the country's communications laws. A military penal code makes homosexual activity punishable by up to two years in prison. The army has denied allegations that investigators are using the case to embark on a broader mission to weed out gay soldiers.

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