Outrage after Portugal court quotes Bible on woman’s assault

Oct 25, 2017

By Barry Hatton

Women’s rights groups in Portugal have reacted angrily to a court decision that quoted the Bible and a 19th-century law in justifying a suspended sentence for a man convicted of assaulting his ex-wife with a bat because she allegedly committed adultery.

The man was given a 15-month suspended sentence and a fine of 1,750 euros ($2,000) for using a bat spiked with nails to assault the woman in the street in 2015, leaving her covered in cuts and bruises.

The prosecutor had argued the sentence was too lenient and asked an appeals court for prison time of 3 years and 6 months. But the appeal judges on Oct. 11 rejected his request.

In their written ruling, the judges expressed “some understanding” for the attacker, saying a woman’s adultery is “a very serious offense against a man’s honor and dignity.”

They noted the Bible says an adulterous woman should be punished by death and also cited a 1886 Portuguese law that gave only symbolic sentences to men who killed their wives for suspected adultery.

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2 comments on “Outrage after Portugal court quotes Bible on woman’s assault

  • The Judges need to be removed immediately and permanently.

    Adultery ceased to be a crime in Portugal in 1982. What the bleep are they talking about? You can’t dismiss the crime and then wish it back in mitigation of serious physical (and mental, no doubt) assault.

    This leads me to ignoble thoughts about similar grievous, but explanatory, harms I could commit, and rather more forgiveable in terms of real, net, future harm reduction.

    Old men need to be hurried along and out of the picture.



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  • Judges stuck in the dark ages. Disgraceful.

    using a bat spiked with nails to assault the woman in the street in 2015, leaving her covered in cuts and bruises.

    A bat spiked with nails?! She’s lucky to be alive. Sounds more like attempted murder to me.



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