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Penalty for Adultery in Syria: Imprisonment From a Month to a Year

The penalty for adultery in Syria goes from a month to a year of imprisonment, according to al-Watan.
Penalty for Infidelity: Imprisonment From a Month to a Year
Penalty for Adultery in Syria: Imprisonment From a Month to a Year

Tariq al-Kurdi, the first-degree criminal judge in Damascus, revealed that there are lawsuits in Syria filed by wives against their husbands for adultery. At the same time, husbands have brought complaints of infidelity against their wives. These cases are rare in either direction, however, with one husband being sentenced to prison after a court found that he had betrayed his wife.

Kurdi said that the law in Syria allows women to bring a lawsuit before the judiciary on grounds of betreyal: either because a man has taken a woman as a girlfriend in public, or because he has engaged in adultery in the matrimonial home. Kurdi pointed out that such cases are difficult to prove in court, given that such relationships are not easily established with evidence.

Kurdi explained that infidelity can be established by testimony, through messages exchanged between the husband and the other woman, or by the man’s declaration. Kurdi said that the mere fact that a husband speaks publicly about his relationship with another woman constitutes marital infidelity, allowing his wife to establish a claim of infidelity.

Kurdi considered it difficult to prove the act of adultery committed by the husband with the other woman. This is because the act is not done openly and would require testimony from witnesses to confirm that the man had engaged with the other woman as he did with his wife.

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Kurdi explained that Article 474 of the Penal Code stipulates that the husband, if found guilty, shall be imprisoned from one month to one year, based on the individual case’s circumstances. These circumstances include if he commits adultery in the marital home, or publicly takes a girlfriend — even if he does not commit adultery with her. It is enough that the man, in the latter case, has publicly announced that this woman is his girlfriend, and provides a basis for the wife’s complaint of adultery against her husband.

On the other hand, the husband has the right to claim against his wife if he has proof that she is cheating on him with another man, Kurdi said. He noted that male complaints outnumber female complaints in this regard. He explained the discrepancy on the basis that some women do not know that they have the right to bring a complaint against their husband if he publicly takes a girlfriend or engages in adultery in the matrimonial home.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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