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Crimes Against Public Health

TITLE VIII
CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH
CHAPTER I
INFRINGEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROTECTIVE PROVISIONS
Section I- Crimes Committed by Spreading Diseases and
Polluting the Environment

Article 514- Spreading of Human Diseases.

(1)    Whoever intentionally spreads or transmits a communicable human disease,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
(2)    Where the criminal:
a)    has spread or transmitted a disease which can cause grave injury or death, out of hatred or envy, with malice or with a base motive; or
b)    without even the particular intent specified in sub-article (a) of this Article has spread or transmitted a disease which can cause grave injury or death; or
c)    has transmitted an epidemic,
the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding twenty years, or in grave cases, with rigorous imprisonment for life or death.
(3)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment or fine.

Article 515- Spreading of Animal Diseases.

(1)    Whoever intentionally spreads an animal disease among domestic animals or poultry, bees, game, fish or wild animals the species of which are protected by law,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(2)    Where the criminal:
a)    Has acted maliciously; or
b)    Has intentionally caused substantial damage,
the punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less than three months.
(3)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding six months or fine.

Article 516- Propagation of an Agricultural or Forest Parasite.

Whoever, intentionally or by negligence, propagates a parasite or germ harmful to agricultural or forest crops,
Is punishable under Article 515 above.

Article 517- Contamination of Water.

(1)    Whoever intentionally contaminates by means of substances harmful to health drinking water serving the needs of man or animals,
is punishable, according to the circumstances and the extent of the damage, with fine or simple imprisonment for not less than one month, or, in more serious cases, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding seven years.
(2)    In Cases of intentional poisoning of wells or cisterns, springs, water holes, rivers or lakes,
the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.
(3)    Where the crime under sub-article (1) or (2) above is committed negligently, it is punishable with simple imprisonment, or, if less serious, with fine.

Article 518- Contamination of Pastureland.

(1)    Whoever, intentionally contaminates pastureland or fields with poisonous or harmful substances so as to endanger the life or health of animals,
Is punishable with fine or simple imprisonment, or, in serious cases, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding seven years.
(2)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding six months, or fine.

Article 519- Environmental Pollution.

(1)    Whoever, in breach of the relevant law, discharges pollutants into the environment,
Is punishable with fine not exceeding ten thousand Birr, or with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years.
(2)    Where the pollution has resulted in serious consequences on the health or life of persons or on the environment, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
(3)    Where the act of the criminal has infringed a criminal provision entailing a more severe penalty, the provisions on concurrence of crimes shall apply.

Article 520- Mismanagement of Hazardous Wastes and other Materials.

Whoever:
a)    fails to manage hazardous wastes or materials in accordance with the relevant laws; or
b)    fails to label hazardous wastes or materials; or
c)    unlawfully transfers hazardous wastes or materials,
is punishable with fine not exceeding five thousand Birr, or rigorous imprisonment not exceeding three years, or with both.

Article 521- Acts Contrary to Environmental Impact Assessment.

Whoever, without obtaining authorization from the competent authority, implements a project on which an environmental impact assessment is required by law, or makes false statements concerning such assessment, is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year.

Article 522- Infringement of Preventive and Protective Public Health Measures.

(1)    Whoever, intentionally disregards the measures prescreibed by law for the prevention, limit or arrest of a communicable human disease,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding two years, or fine.
(2)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding six months, or fine not exceeding three thousand Birr.
(3)    In cases of intentional infringement of rules for preventing, limiting or arresting the spread of an animal disease, or of agricultural or forest parasites or germs, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or fine.
(4)    Where the crime under sub-article (3) is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding three months, or fine not exceeding one thousand Birr.

Article 523- Creation of Distress of Famine.

(1)    Whoever intentionally, directly or indirectly, creates within the country a grave state of misery, want or famine, epidemic or epizootic disease or distress, especially by improperly hiding or hoarding, destroying or preventing the transport or distribution of grain, foodstuffs or provisions, or remedies or products necessary to the life or health of man or domestic animals,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.
(2)    Whoever, in time of such distress, fails to fulfil, or to fulfil properly, without justification of force majeure, the obligations or liabilities incumbent upon him, whether as a purveyor, middleman, sub-contractor, carrier or agent, or in any other capacity, in respect to the delivery or handing over of provisions, remedies or any other products to be used to prevent, limit or arrest the distress,
Is punishable under sub-article (1).
(3)    Where the crime is committed for gain, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding twenty years, and fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Birr.

Article 524- Participation of a Juridical Person.

A juridical person which participates in one of the crimes in this Section, shall be publishable in accordance with Article 90 of this Code.

Section II- Crimes Committed Through Production and Distribution of Substances Hazardous to Human and Animal Health

Article 525- Producing, Making, Trafficking in or Using Poisonous or Narcotic and psychotropic Substances.

(1)    Whoever, without special authorization and with the intent of trafficking:
a)    plants, produces or makes, transforms or manufactures poisonous, narcotic or psychotropic plants or substances; or
b)    possesses, imports, exports, transports, stores, brokers, purchases, offers for sale, distributes, utters, hands over or procures for another, one of the substances listed in (a) above; or
c)    makes, possesses imports or exports means used for producing, composing or manufacturing one of the substances listed in (a) above; or
d)    furnishes, leases or permits a house, premise or land under his ownership or possession, for the making, composition, production sale or distribution of one of the substances listed in (a) above,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for not less than five years, and fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Birr.
(2)    The punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment for not less than ten years, and fine not exceeding two hundred thousand Birr:
(a)    where  the crime is committed by a member of a band or association organized nationally or internationally for the trafficking in such substances or committing crimes, or by a person who makes a profession of such unlawful activity; or
(b)    Where the criminal, for gain, with base motive or for any other improper motive, knowingly furnishes the forbidden substances; or permits access to his premises for the taking of such substances; or where the user is an infant or a young person or a mentally deficient person or a drug addict; or
(c)    Where the criminal employs children or a person with mental illness as a means for the commission of the crime; or
(d)    Where the crime is committed in prisons, in schools, on the premises of institutions for social service, or in places where children or young students engage in educational, sporting or other social activities; or
(e)    Where the criminal has been previously convicted for a similar crime.
(3)    Whoever possesses, transports, stores or hands over poisonous or narcotic or psychotropic drugs or plants, which he knows to have been procured through or intended for the commission of one of the crimes specified in sub-article (1) or (2) of this Article,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for not less than five years, and fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Birr.
(4)    Whoever:
a)    plants, buys, receives, makes, possesses, sells or delivers one of the substances mentioned in sub-article (1) above, to be privately used by himself or another; or
b)    uses or causes to be used one of these substances without medical prescription or in any other unlawful manner,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding seven years, and fine not exceeding fifty thousand Birr.
(5)    Any person who, intending to use narcotic or psychotropic substances for unlawful purposes, fraudulently causes a medical practitioner to give him a medical prescription, or transfers a prescription obtained lawfully or unlawfully to an unauthorized third person, or any medical practitioner who intentionally makes out an unlawful prescription for narcotic or psychotropic substances,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years, and fine.
(6)    Nothing shall affect the provisions of this Code relating to seizure of dangerous articles (Art. 140) and the commission and aiding in money laundering (Art. 684).

Article 526- Doping.

(1)    Whoever intentionally:
a)    produces, imports, sells, keeps professionally or distributes harmful manufactured substances prohibited by law, which help to achieve physical and psychological superiority in sports by temporarily boosting the physical fitness acquired by nature and through training; or
b)    makes use of or causes to be used unlawfully the substances mentioned in (a) above,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine, or, where the act has caused grave injury, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years.
(2)    Whoever, with intent to employ a legally authorized drug for the purpose specified in sub-article (1), prescribes, gives or makes use of it improperly or outside the purpose for which it has been made,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(3)    Where one of the acts specified in sub-article (1) or (2) above is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding three months, or fine not exceeding five thousand Birr.

Article 527- Manufacture, Adulteration and Sale of Injurious or Damaged Products or Foodstuffs.

(1)    Whoever intentionally:
a)    manufactures food, provisions, foodstuffs or products unfit for human consumption or goods which contain injurious or damaged ingredients, or who adulterates food or goods in such a way as to endanger public health; or
b)    stores, offers for sale, exports, imports, receives or distributes such injurious products,
is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than six months, or, in serious cases, with rigorous imprisonment for not less than five years, and fine.
(2)    The punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment for not less than seven years, where the criminal:
a)    has special duties of supervision or control in an undertaking of public interest belonging to the State, or let out to concession by the State; or
b)    deliberately manufactures, adulterates, sells or distributes remedies, medicaments, dietetic products or tonics, not poisonous in themselves and procurable without a prescription, the defective manufacture or adulteration of which can have dangerous effects.
(3)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding six months, or fine.

Article 528- Manufacture, Adulteration and Sale of Fodder and Products Injurious to Live-Stock.

(1)    Whoever intentionally:
a)    adulterates fodder or natural feeding stuffs, or manufactures injurious forage or other products, intended for domestic animals, thereby endangering the latter’s health or life; or
b)    imports, exports, stores, sells, offers for sale or distributes such injurious fodder or other feeding stuffs,
is punishable with simple imprisonment and fine.
(2)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding three years, or fine.

Article 529- Aggravating Circumstances.

The maximum punishment of deprivation of liberty provided for in the preceding Articles (Art. 527 and 528) shall be pronounced, and the fine may be increased up to two hundred thousand Birr, where the criminal makes a profession of such crimes (Art. 90), or where his felonious activities relate to large quantities of goods, and where the damage caused is substantial.

Article 530- Participation of a Juridical Person.

Any juridical person which participates in one of the crimes specified in Articles 525 to 529, shall be punishable in accordance with Article 90 of this Code.

Article 531- Endangering the Health of Another by Alcoholic Beverages or Spirituous Liquors.

(1)    Whoever endangers the health of another, intentionally and unscrupulously, by administering or serving, or by causing or permitting to be administered or served, to minors or to persons already manifestly suffering from excessive consumption thereof, alcoholic beverages or spirituous liquors of such kind or in such quantity as to bake their injurious effect certain or probable,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, and fine.
(2)    Where the crime is committed repeatedly, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less than six months, without prejudice to prohibition of professional practice.
(3)    Where the crime is committed negligently, the punishment shall be simple imprisonment not exceeding three months.

Article 532- Endangering by Mental Means or Practices.

Whoever intentionally endangers the health of another by inducing in him a state of hypnosis, trance or catelepsy, or any other change or suspension of his conscious faculties,
Is punishable under Article 531.

Article 533- Endangering by Philtres, Spells or Similar Means.

Whoever, knowing the danger which they imply, prepares, gives, sells distributes or administers to another a potion, powder, philtre or any other product or ingredient susceptible of impairing his health,
Is punishable under Article 531.

Article 534 Aggravated Cases.

(1)    Where the criminal makes a profession of the practices defined in Articles 532, he is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than one year, and fine.
(2)    Where the crime is committed against the will of the victim, the special provision regarding deprivation of powers of decision (Art. 583) shall be applied concurrently.

CHAPTER II
INFRINGEMENTS OF CURATIVE AND PROTECTIVE PROVISIONS

Article 535- Unlawful Exercise of the Medical or Public-Health Professions.

(1)    Whoever, having neither the professional qualifications prescribed and controlled by the competent authority nor the authorization to set up in official practice required under the relevant regulations or by exceeding his authorization, makes a practice of treating sick persons in no matter what form, or does so for remuneration, whether it be by consultations, treatment, the sale of remedies or any other medical or curative activity or practice,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years and fine.
(2)    A person who treats live-stock under the circumstances provided in sub-article (1) above, is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(3)    Whoever manufactures, offers for sale, sells, distributes or puts on use drugs or medical instruments:
(a)    the safety, efficacy and quality of which is not ascertained and duly authorized by the appropriate organ; or
(b)    which are counterfeited or adulterated; or which have misleading labels written on, affixed to or enclosed with, their packaging; or
(c)    that have expired; or
(d)    which are prohibited, spoiled, faked, contaminated or, for any other reason, ascertained to be harmful to the health of the person using them,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for not less than five years, and fine from twenty thousand to fifty thousand Birr.
(4)    Casual advice, aid or services rendered in cases of urgency or in an emergency, or out of kindness or devotion and free of charge, or the delivery in such conditions of proven and innocuous natural or traditional remedies, are not punishable.
(5)    Nothing in this Article shall prevent the practice of a system of therapeutics according to indigenous methods by persons recognized by the local community to which they belong, to be duly trained in such practice, provided that no such person shall be authorized to practice except amongst the local community to which he belongs and in such a manner as is neither dangerous nor injurious to the person, health or life.

Article 536- Unlawful Delivery of Poisonous or Dangerous Substances.

Any doctor, pharmacist, dentist, veterinary surgeon or nurse, or any other person authorized to give medical care with the help of poisonous, narcotic or psychotropic substances or substances entailing grave danger to health, or to keep or sell such substances, who makes use of them or delivers them to the public without special authority and apart from the cases permitted in normal curative practice,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than three years and fine, or, in serious cases, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding seven years and fine.
Where the criminal has committed the crime for gain, he shall be punishable with fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Birr.

Article 537- Refusal to Provide Medical Assistance.

(1)    Any doctor, pharmacist, dentist, veterinary surgeon, midwife or nurse, or any other person lawfully entitled to render professional attention and care, who, contrary to his duty and without just cause, refuses to provide his services in a case of serious need, whether from indifference, selfishness, cupidity, hatred or contempt or any other similar motive,
Is punishable with fine, or, where the crime is repeated, with simple imprisonment not exceeding six months.
(2)    Nothing shall affect the more severe provision (Art. 575(2)) punishing failure to lend aid to a person in grave and imminent peril of his life, person or health.