The death of a South Korean Air Force officer who complained of sexual abuse has led to the arrest of 15 people and disciplinary action against a dozen Air Force officers in the country.
South Korea’s military has been shaken by allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination against female soldiers.
The incident happened in March this year when an Air Force master sergeant was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male colleague in a car while she was on her way to the base from a dinner meeting. BBC.
Upon reporting the matter to senior officials, the woman was forced to enter into a private settlement with the colleague, an investigation revealed. The report said that senior officials also tried to hide the incident.
In May, she died by suicide at her official residence, causing a nationwide outcry, resulting in the ouster of Chief of Staff General Lee Seong-yong, who took “enormous responsibility” in the officer’s death.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in also issued an apology and ordered a thorough investigation into the incident, including its handling by the authorities.
“I am deeply sorry to the people for this malpractice in the culture of the barracks, which has resulted in a tragic and unjust death,” the South Korean president said, without directly mentioning the matter.
In June, a male master sergeant was arrested for misconduct. In the latest ordered action, dozens of officers will face disciplinary action for trying to conceal the case, forcing a private settlement between a sexual assault survivor and an accused, and destroying or leaking evidence.
In another case, a South Korean court held that the military force discriminated against a transgender soldier who was deliberately asked to leave the force. The constable was later found dead at his residence.
While the confirmed cause of soldier Byun Hee-soo has not been shared, reports suggest that she also died by suicide.
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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /