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Crimes Against Life, Person And Health

BOOK V
CRIMES AGAINST INDIVIDUALS AND THE FAMILY
TITLE I
CRIMES AGAINST LIFE, PERSON AND HEALTH
CHAPTER I
CRIMES AGAINST LIFE
Section I- Homicide and its Forms

Article 538- Principle.

(1)    Whoever causes the death of a human being intentionally or by negligence, no matter what the weapon or means used, commits homicide.
(2)    The punishment to be imposed upon the person who is guilty of intentional or negligent homicide shall be determined according to the following provisions depending on whether the homicide is simple or aggravated.
(3)    Any person who committed homicide, whether intentionally or negligently, shall be punished by lawful judicial process and in accordance with decisions rendered thereby.

Article 539- Aggravated Homicide.

(1)    Whoever intentionally commits homicide:
(a)    with such premeditation, motive, weapon or means, in such conditions of commission, or in any other aggravating circumstance, whether general (Art. 84) or other circumstances duly established (Art. 86), as to show that he is exceptionally cruel, abominable or dangerous; or
(b)    as a member of a band organized for carrying out homicide or armed robbery; or
(c)    to further another crime or to conceal a crime already committed,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for life, or death.
(2)    Death sentence shall be passed where the criminal has committed homicide in the circumstances specified under sub-article (1) above while serving a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for life.

Article 540- Ordinary Homicide.

Whoever intentionally commits homicide neither in aggravating circumstances as in Article 539, nor in extenuating circumstances as in Article 541,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to twenty years.

Article 541- Extenuated Homicide.

Whoever intentionally commits homicide:
a)    by exceeding the limits of necessity (Art. 75), or of legitimate defence (Art. 78); or
b)    following gross provocation, under the shock of surprise or under the influence of violent emotion or intense passion made understandable and in some degree excusable by the circumstances,
is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding five years.

Article 542- Instigating or Aiding another to Commit Suicide.

(1)    Whoever instigates another to commit suicide, or aids him to do so,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment where the suicide is attempted, and with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years where it is consummated.
(2)    Where the person who has been instigated or aided to commit suicide had not attained the age of majority, or had no capacity because of mental illness or senility, the punishment to be imposed upon the instigator or assistant shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years, where the suicide is attempted, and rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where it is consummated.

Article 543- Homicide by Negligence.

(1)    Whoever negligently causes the death of another in circumstances other than those specified in sub-article (2) and (3) of this Article,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment from six months to three years, or with fine from two thousand to four thousand Birr.
(2)    Where the negligent homicide is committed by a person, such as a doctor or driver, who has a professional or other duty to protect the life, health or safety of another,
The punishment shall be simple imprisonment from one year to five years and fine from three thousand to six thousand Birr.
(3)    The punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment from five year to fifteen years and fine from ten thousand to fifteen thousand Birr where the criminal has negligently caused the death of two or more persons or where he has deliberately infringed express rules and regulations disregarding that such consequences may follow or even where he has put himself in a state of irresponsibility by taking drugs or alcohol.

Article 544- Infanticide.

(1)    A mother who intentionally kills her infant while she is in labour or while still suffering from the direct effect thereof,
Is punishable, according to the circumstances of the case, with simple imprisonment.
Where the crime is attempted, the Court shall mitigate the punishment (Art. 180) if no injury has been done to the infant.
(2)    A mother who kills her child, either intentionally or by negligence, in circumstances other than those specified under sub-article (1) of this Article shall be tried according to the relevant provisions of this Code regarding homicide.
(3)    Another person, being a principal, an instigator or an accomplice in the crime committed under sub-article (1) of this Article, is excluded from the benefits of extenuation, and is punishable under the general provisions relating to homicide, according to the circumstances and the degree of his guilt.

Section II- Crimes against Life Unborn; Abortion

Article 545- Principle.

(1)    The intentional termination of a pregnancy, at whatever stage or however effected, is punishable according to the following provisions, except as otherwise provided under Article 551.
(2)    The nature and extent of the punishment given for intentional abortion shall be determined according to whether it is procured by the pregnant woman herself or by another, and in the latter case according to whether or not the pregnant woman gave her consent.

Article 546- Abortion Procured by the Pregnant Woman.

(1)    A pregnant woman who intentionally procures her own abortion is punishable with simple imprisonment.
(2)    Any other person who procured for her the means of, or aids her in the abortion, shall be punishable as a principal criminal or an accomplice, with simple imprisonment.

Article 547- Abortion Procured by Another.

(1)    Whoever contrary to the law performs an abortion on another, or assists in the commission of the crime,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment.
(2)    Rigorous imprisonment shall be from three years to ten years, where the intervention was effected against the will of the pregnant woman or where she was incapable of giving her consent, or where such consent was extorted by threat, coercion or deceit,
or where she was incapable of realizing the significance of her actions.
(3)    A pregnant woman who consents to an act of abortion except as is otherwise permitted by law,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment.

Article 548- Aggravated Cases.

Where abortion is performed apart from the circumstances provided by law the punishment shall be aggravated as follows:
(1)    in cases where the criminal has acted for gain, or made a profession of abortion (Art. 92), he is punishable with fine in addition to the penalties prescribed in Article 547 above;
(2)    in case where the crime is committed by a person who has not proper medical profession, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less than one year, and fine;
(3)    in cases where the crime is committed by a professional, in particular, by a doctor, pharmacist, midwife, or nurse practicing his profession, the Court shall, in addition to simple imprisonment and fine, order prohibition of practice, either for a limited period, or, where the crime is repeatedly committed, for life (Art. 123).

Article 549- Attempt to Procure an Abortion on a Non-Pregnant Woman.

The general provisions relating to crimes impossible of completion (Art. 29) shall apply in the case of attempt to procure an abortion on a woman wrongly supposed to be pregnant.

Article 550- Extenuating Circumstances.

Subject to the provision of Article 551 below, the court shall mitigate the punishment under Article 180, where the pregnancy has been terminated on account of an extreme poverty.

Article 551- Cases where Terminating Pregnancy is Allowed by Law.

(1)    Termination of pregnancy by a recognized medical institution within the period permitted by the profession is not punishable where:
a)    the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest; or
b)    the continuance of the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother or the child or the health of the mother or where the birth of the child is a risk to the life or health of the mother; or
c)    where the child has an incurable and serious deformity; or
d)    where the pregnant woman, owing to a physical or mental deficiency she suffers from or her minority, is physically as well as mentally unfit to bring up the child.
(2)    In the case of grave and imminent danger which can be averted only by an immediate intervention, an act of terminating pregnancy in accordance with the provision of Article 75 of this Code is not punishable.

Article 552- Procedure of Terminating Pregnancy and the Penalty of Violating the Procedure.

(1)    The Ministry of Health shall shortly issue a directive whereby pregnancy may be terminated under the conditions specified in Article 551 above, in a manner which does not affect the interest of pregnant women.
(2)    In the case of terminating pregnancy in accordance with sub-article (1)(a) of Article 551 the mere statement by the woman is adequate to prove that her pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
(3)    Any person who violated the directive mentioned in sub-article (1) above, is punishable with fine not exceeding one thousand Birr, or simple imprisonment not exceeding three months.

CHAPTER II
CRIMES AGAINST PERSON AND HEALTH

Article 553- Principle.

(1)    Whoever intentionally or by negligence causes bodily injury to another or impairs his health, by whatever means or in any manner, is punishable in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.
These provisions embrace all manner of bodily assaults, blows, wounds, maiming, injuries or harm, and all damage to the physical or metal health of an individual.
(2)    Compensation to the injured party is determined by the Court in light of the gravity of the injury and the position of the parties, in accordance with the general provisions of this Code (Art. 101).

Article 554- Expert Assessment In Case of Doubtful Cases.

Where there is doubt as to the nature of a case, its consequences or its gravity, the Court may call for an expert forensic medical assessment to assist in deciding the case.

Article 555- Grave Wilful Injury.

Whoever intentionally:
a)    wounds a person so as to endanger his life or to permanently jeopardize his physical or mental health; or
b)    maims his body or one of this essential limbs or organs, or disables them, or gravely and conspicuously disfigures him; or
c)    in any other way inflicts upon another an injury or disease of a serious nature,
is punishable, according to the circumstances of the case and the gravity of the injury, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years, or with simple imprisonment for not less than one year.

Article 556- Common Wilful Injury.

(1)    Whoever cases another to suffer an injury to body or health other than those specified in Article 555 above,
Is punishable, upon complaint, with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or with fine.
(2)    The crime is punishable, upon accusation, with simple imprisonment from six months to three years where:
a)    the criminal has used poison, a lethal weapon or any other instrument capable of inflicting injuries; or
b)    the criminal has inflicted the injuries in breach of a duty, professional or other; or
c)    the victim is weak, sick or incapable of defending himself.

Article 557- Extenuating Circumstances.

(1)    Whoever intentionally does injury to the person or health of another:
a)    by exceeding the limits of necessity (Art. 75), or legitimate defence (Art. 78); or
b)    following gross provocation, or under the shock or influence of a surprise, an emotion or a passion made understandable and in some degree excusable by the circumstances; or
c)    at the request or with the consent of the victim who is capable of realizing his action and its consequences, where the injury is forbidden by law or offends public decency,
is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding two years, or fine not exceeding four thousand Birr.
(2)    In the case provided for in sub-article (1)(c), simple imprisonment shall not exceed four years where the victim, due to age, mental or other conditions, was partially or completely incapable of realizing the consequences of his request or consent.

Article 558- Consequences not intended by the Criminal.

Whoever has caused grave injury through criminal negligence, although his intention was to inflict common injury,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment from six months to three years.

Article 559- Injuries Caused by Negligence.

(1)    Whoever, by criminal negligence, causes another to suffer common injury to person or to health,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding six months, or fine not exceeding one thousand Birr.
(2)    The punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less than six months, and a fine of not less than one thousand Birr, where the injury inflicted is of the same kind as the one stated in Article 555, or where it was caused by a person like a doctor or driver, who had a special duty to safeguard the body or health of another.
(3)    The crime is punishable upon accusation, where the injury is grave, and upon complaint, where it is common. The extent of the injury shall be determined in accordance with Articles 555 and 556.

Article 560- Assaults.

(1)    Whoever assaults another or does him violence without causing bodily injury or impairment of health,
Is punishable, upon complaint, with a fine not exceeding three hundred Birr, or, in serious cases, with simple imprisonment not exceeding three months.
Simple bruises, swellings or transient aches and pains are not held to be injuries to person or health.
(2)    Minor crimes that do not come under sub-article (1) of this Article are punishable in accordance with the provision of Article 840 of the Code of Petty Offences.
(3)    Where the victim has returned assault for assault, the Court may refrain from inflicting any punishment other than a reprimand or warning for the future on either of the two or both parties.

CHAPTER III
CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST LIFE, PERSON AND HEALTH
THROUGH HARMFUL TRADITIONAL PRACTICES

Article 561- Endangering the Lives of Pregnant Women and Children through Harmful Traditional Practices.

(1)    Whoever causes the death of a pregnant or a delivering woman or that of a newly born child as a result of the application of a harmful traditional practice such as:
a)    massaging the abdomen of a pregnant woman, or shaking a woman in a prolonged labour; or
b)    soiling the umbilical cord of a newly-born child with dung or other similar substances, keeping a newly-born child out of the sun or feeding it butter, excising the uvula of a child or taking out milk teeth or preventing the child from being vaccinated; or
c)    through the exercise of other traditional practices known by the medical profession to be harmful,
is punishable with fine or simple imprisonment from three months to one year.
(2)    Where the death was caused by negligence, the relevant provision of this Code (Art. 543) shall apply.

Article 562- Causing Bodily injury to Pregnant Women and Children Through Harmful Traditional Practices

(1)    Whoever causes bodily injury or mental impairment to a pregnant or delivering woman or to a newly-born child as a result of the application of a harmful traditional practice such as:
a)    massaging the abdomen of a pregnant woman, or shaking a woman in prolonged labour; or
b)    soiling the umbilical cord of a newly-born child with dung or other similar substances, keeping a newly-born child out of the sun or feeding it butter, excising the uvula of a child or taking out milk teeth or preventing the child from being vaccinated; or
c)    through the exercise of other traditional practices known by the medical profession to be harmful,
is punishable with fine or simple imprisonment not exceeding six months.
(2)    Where the injury to body, mind or health was caused by negligence, the relevant provision of this Code (Art. 559) shall apply.

Article 563- Discretion of the Court.

In respect of the crimes specified under Articles 561 and 562, the Court, taking into account the age, education, experience or social status of the criminal, may give him only a warning instead of fine or a penalty entailing loss of liberty.

Article 564- Violence Against a Marriage Partner or a Person Cohabiting in an Irregular Union.

The relevant provision of this Code (Arts. 555 – 560) shall apply to a person who, by doing violence to a marriage partner or a person cohabiting in an irregular union, causes grave or common injury to his/her physical or mental health.

Article 565- Female Circumcision.

Whoever circumcises a woman of any age,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than three months, or fine not less than five hundred Birr.

Article 566- Infibulation of the Female Genitalia.

(1)    Whoever infibulates the genitalia of a woman,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from three years to five years.
(2)    Where injury to body or health has resulted due to the act prescribed in sub-article (1) above, subject to the provision of the Criminal Code which provides for a more severe penalty, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment from five years to ten years.

Article 567- Bodily Injuries Caused Through Other Harmful Traditional Practices.

Whoever, apart from the circumstances specified in this Chapter, inflicts upon another bodily injury or mental impairment through a harmful traditional practice known for its inhumanity and ascertained to be harmful by the medical profession,
shall, according to the circumstances of the case, be liable to one of the penalties prescribed under the provisions of Article 561 or Article 562 of this Code.

Article 568- Transmission of Disease Through Harmful Traditional Practices.

Where the victim has contracted a communicable disease as a result of one of the harmful traditional practices specified in the above provisions, the penalties prescribed in this Code concerning the spread of communicable diseases shall apply concurrently.

Article 569- Participation in Harmful Traditional Practices.

A parent or any other person who participates in the commission of one of the crimes specified in this Chapter,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding three months, or fine not exceeding five hundred Birr.

Article 570- Incitement Against the Enforcement of Provisions Prohibiting Harmful Traditional Practices.

Any person who publicly or otherwise incites or provokes another to disregard the provisions of this Code prohibiting harmful traditional practices, or organizes a movement to promote such end, or takes part in such a movement, or subscribes to its schemes,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than three months, or fine not less than five hundred Birr, or both.

CHAPTER IV

CRIMES ENDANGERING LIFE, PERSON OR HEALTH

Article 571- Exposure of the Life of Another.

Whoever intentionally puts another in imminent danger of death,
Is punishable, according to the circumstances of the case, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding three years, or with simple imprisonment for not less than three months.

Article 572- Exposing to Danger through the Violation of Traffic Regulations.

(1)    Any driver or pedestrian who exposes to danger the life, body, health or property of another by negligently violating traffic regulations,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment from one month to three years, or fine not les than one hundred Birr, or both.
(2)    Where the act has caused injury to the life, body, health or property of another, the relevant provisions of this Code and those of the infringed traffic regulation shall apply concurrently.

Article 573- Endangering the Human Body.

(1)    Whoever, with intent to obtain money or other advantage:
a)    gives whole alive his organ or a part of his body to another ; or
b)    enters into a contract with another person or institution to give his organ or a part of his body after his death,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(2)    Whoever, with intent to obtain money or other advantage, takes away an organ or a part of the body of another with the latter’s consent, shall be punishable:
a)    with rigorous imprisonment from five years to ten years, where the act is committed while the victim is still alive; or
b)    with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years, where the act is committed after the death of the victim.
(3)    Whoever takes an organ or part of the body of another by coercion, fraud, trickery or without the consent of the person concerned,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from ten years to twenty-five years.
(4)        Whoever, apart from the cases specified in the above sub-articles, and contrary to law, regulations or rules, carries out scientific or medical examination, research or experiments on a person’s body by coercing the person or without his consent or knowledge, or discloses or gives under any conditions to another person such information obtained in this manner,
is punishable, according to the circumstances of the case, with simple imprisonment for not less than one year, or with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
(5)  Where a juridical person commits one of the acts specified in sub-article (2), (3) or    (4) above, it shall be liable to punishment in accordance with Articles 34 and 90 (3) of this Code.

Article 574- Exposure or Abandonment of Another.

(1)    Whoever, having the custody or charge, on no matter what grounds, of a person incapable of protecting himself, whether on account of his health, his age, his situation or any other circumstance, intentionally:
a)    exposes him, thereby putting him in imminent danger of life or health; or
b)    abandons him when in like situation,
is punishable, according to the circumstances of the case, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years, or with simple imprisonment for not less than six months, without prejudice to the deprivation of the criminal’s family rights where necessary.
(2)    Where the crime is committed against an infant, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding seven years.

Article 575- Failure to Lend Aid to Another.

(1)    Whoever intentionally leaves without help a person in imminent and grave peril of his life, person or health, when he could have lent him assistance, direct or indirect, without risk to himself or to third parties,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding six months, or fine.
(2)    Simple imprisonment shall be in addition to fine, and shall be from one month to two years, where:
a)    the victim has been injured by the criminal himself, no matter in  what circumstances or by whatever means; or
b)    the criminal was under an obligation, professional or contractual, medical, maritime or other, to go to the victim’s aid or to lend him assistance.

Article 576- Maltreatment of Minors.

(1)    Whoever, having the custody or charge of a minor, ill-treats, neglects, over tasks or beats him for any reason or in any manner,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding three months.
(2)    Where the crime causes grave injury to the health, well-being, education or physical or psychological development of the minor,
the punishment shall be, in addition to the deprivation of family rights of the criminal, simple imprisonment for not less than one year.
(3)    The taking, by parents or other persons having similar responsibilities, of a disciplinary measure that does not contravene the law, for purposes of proper upbringing, is not subject to this provision (Art. 68).

Article 577- Brawls.

(1)    Whoever, without confining himself to repelling attack, to defending himself or others, or to separating the combatants, takes part in any brawl or fight of not less than three persons, from which injury to the person or health, or the death, of one of those present or damage to property, may ensue,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year.
(2)    Whoever takes part in a brawl and is found to be carrying, or makes use of, a weapon or instrument capable of causing wounds or death, or any other similar weapon,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment from one month to one year, where no injury has ensued.
(3)    Where anyone has been wounded or killed on account of the attendant circumstances of the brawl, especially because of the hatred, state of excitement or drunkenness of the opposing sides, or because they were armed or were provided with instruments, stones or any other objects capable of wounding or causing death, the punishment shall be increased up to the general legal maximum.
(4)    In such cases, where those who have caused the injury or death can be discovered, they shall be punishable under the relevant provisions concurrently (Art. 66).

Article 578- Duels.

(1)    Whoever takes part in a duel, that is to say in an armed combat involving deadly weapons regulated in advance by tradition or custom, such as to endanger the life, person or health of the participants,
Is punishable, whether or not bodily injury has been sustained, with simple imprisonment or fine.
(2)    Where precautions have been taken to eliminate risk of death, simple imprisonment shall not exceed one year, or the fine shall not exceed two thousand Birr.
(3)    Where the combat was to last until the death of one of the combatants, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment, which shall not exceed ten years, where death actually ensued.
(4)    An adversary who, knowingly, infringes the special rules or usages of combat and, by this deceit, wounds or kills the other combatant, shall be punished in accordance with the general provisions of this Code governing homicide or bodily injuries.

Article 579- Duelling: Challenge, Incitement and Aiding.

(1)    Whoever challenges another to a duel, transmits such challenge or accepts it,
Is punishable with fine, or where the duel is fought, with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year.
(2)    Where the crime is repeated, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding three months.
(3)    Where one of the adversaries withdraws from the contest, or prevents it, of his own accord, the Court may exempt him, or both parties, from punishment.
(4)    Whoever incites another to fight a duel with a third person, whether by intimidation, by encouragement, by showing contempt or otherwise,
Is punishable with fine, or, where the duel is fought, with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year.
(5)    The seconds, witnesses, members of the Court of honour, helpers or doctors, appointed to ensure the regularity of the proceeding or to remedy their consequences, are not liable to punishment unless they have encouraged or incited