Women’s rights activists have called for protests after a Portuguese appeal court upheld a light sentence for two men who attacked a woman with a nail-spiked club, on the grounds they may have been driven to it by her adultery an offence punishable with death in the Bible.
Judges Neto de Moura and Maria Luisa Arantes rejected the prosecutors’ appeal to toughen the suspended sentence and fine, saying the “depressive state” of the two defendants the woman’s former husband and her former lover was a mitigating factor.
“We read in the Bible that an adulteress should be punished with death,” the judges in the Porto court of appeal wrote. They also referenced the “symbolic sentences” given to men who murdered adulterous wives in the late 19th century in Portugal.
“These references are merely intended to stress that the society has always strongly condemned adultery by a woman and therefore sees the violence by a betrayed, humiliated man with some understanding,” they wrote in their 11 October verdict.