Portuguese man who beat ex-wife spared jail when judge says she ‘dishonored’ him

Image courtesy of CNN

(CNN) — There’s been great outrage in Portugal after an appeals court in the country ruled a man would not serve jail time in the severe beating of his wife because she cheated, bringing “dishonor” to him.

The abuse happened in June 2015 when the husband and his wife’s former lover attacked her with a nail-spiked club. Court documents show the ex-lover holding her while the husband hit her in the head and body with the club.

The woman required five stitches after the beating.

None of the parties involved were mentioned by name in court documents.

In lieu of jail time, the husband was given a suspended sentence, along with a fine. Prosecutors appealed the case and are hoping to get a heavier sentence including jail.

Judges on the court in Porto explained that the man’s behavior was excusable because his wife’s infidelity dishonored him.

“Now, the adultery of the woman is a very serious attack on the honor and dignity of the man,” the ruling, signed by Judge Joaquim Neto de Moura, said. “It was the disloyalty and the sexual immorality of the plaintiff that made (the defendant) fall into a profound depression, and it was in this depressive state and clouded by the revolt that carried out the act of aggression, as was well considered in the judgment under appeal.”

Groups from around the world are speaking out in response to the ruling, including Amnesty International which called it “abusive.”

“Amnesty International Portugal expresses its concern not only for the performance of the adjudicating judges in breach of the legal and constitutional precepts, but for the reflection of a culture and justice that promotes misogyny,” a statement from the human rights group said.

Amnesty also said the judiciary “has an obligation to protect citizens, equally, without gender discrimination” and to make sure that those who commit crimes of domestic violence are held liable “regardless of the relationship.”

It is not clear if prosecutors will appeal the latest court decision.

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