The court blocks the deportation of Singapore trans woman

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Home Secretary Theresa May arrives at Downing Street on June 30, 2015 in London, England. Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a meeting of Government cabinet members this morning. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

In Singapore, all men are expected to take part in compulsory military service, while women are exempt. And the trans woman was forced to take part in a military service as a man. 33-year-old Singapore national EFH – who cannot be named for legal reasons – came to the UK as a student in 2004 and has lived as female for a decade.She is recognised as female by the UK government but is legally considered a man in Singapore, and faces being drafted for male-only service if returned home. EFH is worried she would be forced to serve in a male unit if drafted – undertaking an annual period of service every year until 2023. If she refuses to do military service, EFH would be left facing 15 months in prison and a hefty fine.

If she refuses to do military service, EFH would be left facing 15 months in prison and a hefty fine.Today, the Upper Tribunal dismissed an appeal from the Home Office, after an earlier ruling granted the woman leave to remain in the UK. EFH’s counsel S Chelvan of No5 Chambers had argued that returning the woman to Singapore “would be returning a woman to her home country to be punished as a man”. Lawyers representing Home Secretary Theresa May contended that she would not face discrimination in Singapore, and that any punishment for avoiding military service would not be due to her transgender status.

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