The primary South Korean soldier who underwent gender reassignment surgical procedure whereas on lively responsibility – and who was later forcibly discharged – has been discovered useless at her residence, with the reason for demise to date unknown.
Byun Hee-soo, 23, a former workers sergeant who was locked in a authorized battle with the South Korean navy ever since her discharge over gender reassignment surgical procedure, has been discovered useless at her residence, police confirmed to the Korean information company Yonhap.
Emergency providers had been alerted a few potential incident by Byun’s psychological well being counsellor, who stated the transgender lady couldn’t be reached a minimum of since February 28. Firefighters discovered her useless at her residence on Wednesday.
No suicide notice was discovered and the police haven’t commented on the reason for demise, which stays unknown. Nevertheless, a neighborhood psychological well being clinic stated Byun sought to commit suicide three months in the past.
Byun rose to prominence in Korea and past final yr after she sued the South Korean military over her discharge in a high-profile case. The transgender lady underwent gender reassignment surgical procedure in Thailand whereas on go away in January 2020, changing into the primary active-duty South Korean soldier to take action.
Military officers then determined that the elimination of male genitals amounted to what’s termed a “Stage 3 bodily incapacity” in response to navy legal guidelines, Yonhap reported. This incapacity willpower categorized Byun as unfit for additional service and he or she was forcibly discharged.
Byun had sought to proceed service within the military’s feminine corps, however the navy rejected her petition for reinstatement. In December 2020, the Nationwide Human Rights Fee of Korea (NHRCK) dominated that the military’s choice to not enable her to function a feminine had no authorized grounds.
The Heart for Army Human Rights Korea, a civic group, additionally filed a petition, stating that the military’s actions in Byun’s case would possibly quantity to discrimination in opposition to transgender folks.
Authorized proceedings in Byun’s case have been ongoing, and the subsequent listening to was scheduled for April. Again in July 2020, when she filed her grievance, Byun expressed her willpower to struggle the choice “until the top.”
The case sparked a nationwide debate over transgender troopers in South Korea, which requires able-bodied males to serve within the navy for about two years.
“Aside from my gender identification, I wish to present everybody that I may also be one of many nice troopers who defend this nation,” she stated final yr after her dismissal.
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