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Crimes Against The State

PART II SPECIAL   PART
BOOK III CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE OR AGAINST NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS
TITLE I CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE
CHAPTER I CRIMES AGAINST THE NATIONAL STATE

SECTION I- Crimes against The Constitutional Order and the Internal Security of the State
Sub-section I- Crimes Against the Constitution or the State

Article 238-    Outrages against the Constitution or the Constitutional Order.
(1)    Whoever, intentionally, by violence, threats, conspiracy or any other unlawful means:
(a)    overthrows, modifies or suspends the Federal or State Constitution; or
(b)    overthrows or changes the order established by the Federal or State Constitution,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from three years to twenty-five years.
(2)    Where the crime has entailed serious crises against public security or life, the punishment shall be life imprisonment or death.

Article 239- Obstruction of the exercise of Constitutional Powers.
Whoever, by violence, threats or any other unlawful means, restrains or prevents any official or body constituted by the Federal or State Constitution from exercising their powers or forces them to give a decision.
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.

Article 240- Armed Rising or Civil War.
(1)    Whoever intentionally:
(a)    organizes or leads a revolt, mutiny or armed rebellion against any official or body constituted by a Constitution; or
(b)    raises civil war, by arming citizens or inhabitants or by inciting them to take up arms against one another,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from ten years to twenty-five years.
(2)    Where the crime has entailed serious crises against public security or life, the punishment shall be life imprisonment or death.
(3)    Whoever of his own free will takes part in the movement mentioned in sub-article (1) of this Article is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from seven years to twenty years.
(4)    Where it is proved that the organizer or participant has caused injury to life, liberty, person, health or property or has committed another crime, he shall in addition be liable under the relevant provision of the law.

Article 241- Attack on the Political or Territorial Integrity of the State.
Whoever, by violence or any other unconstitutional means, directly or indirectly, commits an act designed to destroy the unity of the peoples, or to destroy the Federation, or to sever part of the territory or population from the Federation or the State,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from ten years to twenty-five years, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, life imprisonment or death.

Article 242- Violation of Territorial or Political Sovereignty.
Whoever, contrary to the national law, the principles of international law, rules or treaties;
(a)    enters the territory of the State for the purpose of there engaging in any subversive activity; or
(b)    proceeds, within the territory of the State, to perform on behalf of a foreign power or organization acts which are within the jurisdiction of the public authorities of Ethiopia, particularly investigations, searches or judicial inquiries,
is punishable with simple imprisonment, or, in cases or exceptional gravity, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.

Article 243- Unlawful Departure, Entry or Residence.
(1)    Whoever intentionally:
(a)    departs from, enters into or resides in the territory of the State in violation of the national law; or
(b)    causes any of the acts specified in (a) above to be committed,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine or with both.
(2)    Whoever, with the intention of obtaining, directly or indirectly, advantage procures illegal entry of a person, who is not either a national or a permanent resident of Ethiopia, into the territory of another State or produces, procures, provides or possesses a fraudulent travel document or identity card for enabling illegal entry into the Ethiopia territory of the person or performs an act that enables him to illegally remain in Ethiopia without complying with the necessary legal requirements,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to ten years.
(3)    Where the life or safety of the migrant is endangered or is subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment as a result of the crime committed under sub-article (2) of this Article, the person who committed the crime shall be punishable from five years to fifteen years of rigorous imprisonment.
(4)    The punishment shall be in accordance with Article 90 of this Code where the assistance in the commission of one of the acts specified in sub-article (1)(a) of this Article is by a juridical person.
(5)    Where the act is clearly a petty offence, the relevant provisions of the Code of Petty Offences shall apply.

             Sub-section II- Injuries and Insult to the State

Article 244- Attacks against the State and National and other Emblems.
(1)    Whoever, by work or by deed or in any other way, abuses, insults, defames or slanders the State in public,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than three months or with a fine not less than five hundred Birr.
The act of defamation, slander, abuse or insult is deemed to be committed as defined under Articles 613 and 615.
(2)    Whoever, maliciously, or with contempt or any other similar intent, publicly tears down, sets on fire, destroys, injures, defaces, insults or in any other way abuses an officially recognized national emblem, such as the flag or insignia of Federal Ethiopia or the Regional States,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment for not less than three months or fine.

Article 245- Unlawful use of Official Emblems.
Whoever makes unlawful use, for any purpose, of such flags or insignia as mentioned under Article 244,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.

           Section II- Crimes against the External Security and Defensive Power of the State

Article 246- Attacks on the Independence of the State.
Whoever commits an act intended to:
(a)    jeopardize or destroy the independence of the State; or
(b)    provoke intervention by a foreign State in the national affair, calculated to endanger its independence; or
(c)    initiate hostile acts by a foreign State against the Nation, or to involve it in a foreign war, hostilities, a blockade or occupation,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to twenty-five years,
or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with life imprisonment or death.

Article 247-  Impairment of the Defensive Power of the State.
Whoever intentionally impairs the defensive power of the State:
(a)    by unjustifiable surrendering, or by destroying, sabotaging, or putting out of action any enterprise, installation or position, any means of production, trade or transport or any works, establishments, depots, armaments or resources of a military nature or intended for the defence of the country; or
(b)    by delivering troops to, or by recruiting a citizen of the State for, or encouraging his enlistment in, the military service of a foreign power, or by himself entering such service, if a citizen; or
(c)    by publicly instigating refusal to serve, mutiny or desertion, or by inciting a person liable to military service to commit any of these crimes; or
(d)    by obstructing, impeding or in any other way sabotaging military measures taken for the purpose of national defence.
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five to twenty-five years, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, such as in time of war or danger of war, with life imprisonment or death.

Article 248- High Treason.
Whoever, enjoying Ethiopian nationality or being officially entrusted with the protection of Ethiopian national interests:
(a)    takes up arms or engages in hostile acts against Ethiopia; or
(b)    has dealings with or keeps up a secret correspondence with a power at war with Ethiopia, or with a person or body acting on behalf of such power, for the purpose of ensuring or promoting the enemy’s success in any manner whatsoever; or
(c)    delivers to the enemy, whether directly or indirectly, an object, armament, plan, document or resources of any kind used for the national defence, or aids the enemy by rendering services or delivering supplies to him,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five to twenty-five years, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with life imprisonment or death.

Article 249- Treason.
(1)    Whoever, enjoying Ethiopian nationality or being officially entrusted with the protection of Ethiopian national interests:
A.    discloses, delivers, communicates or makes accessible to the public, to a foreign State, political party, organization, agent, a secret, a document, negotiations or a decision which the interests of Ethiopia demand shall not be divulged; or
B.    while acting as a representative of the State or while entrusted with the conduct on its behalf of negotiations with a foreign power, manifestly sacrifices the interests he is called upon to defend to those of the other power; or
C.    destroys, suppresses, purloins, causes to disappear or falsifies documents, papers or means of proof relating to the security, independence or vital interests of the State,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.
(2)    In cases of exceptional gravity directly endangering the existence or independence of the State, the Court may impose rigorous imprisonment from ten years to twenty-five years.
(3)    Where the criminal has acted negligently, the punishment is simple imprisonment for not less than six months, which may be increased to five years rigorous imprisonment in cases of exceptional gravity.

Article 250- Economic Treason.
(1)    Whoever, enjoying Ethiopian nationality, or being officially entrusted with the protection of Ethiopian national interests:
(a)    discloses, delivers, communicates or makes accessible to the public or abroad economic negotiations, decision, facts or documents kept secret in the higher interests of Ethiopia or in those of national defence; or
(b)    discloses or delivers objects, means or other things of such a nature    entrusted to him; or
(c)    participates in or subscribes to a loan floated by a country in a state of war   with Ethiopia.
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years. In more serious cases, the rigorous imprisonment may extend up to twenty years.
(2)    Where the criminal has acted negligently, the punishment is simple imprisonment for not less than three months.

Article 251- Collaboration with the Enemy.
Whoever enjoying Ethiopian nationality or being officially entrusted with the protection of Ethiopian national interests, in time of war or of total or partial occupation of the territory of Ethiopia, helps the enemy with advice or by deed, with the intention of promoting the objective of the enemy, in particular:
(a)    by exercising on his behalf civil or administrative functions in the judicial, police or prisons services, or in custody, transport or other services; or
(b)    by denouncing or handing over to him patriots or fugitives seeking to escape from his restraint; or
(c)       by entering any propaganda, publishing or press service designed to promote the interests of an enemy or occupying power; or
(d)    By engaging, directly or through an intermediary, in dealings involving economic collaboration with such enemy or power,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding twenty years, or in cases of exceptional gravity, with rigorous imprisonment for life or death.

Article 252- Espionage.
(1)    Whoever, on behalf of a foreign State, political party or organization, and to the detriment of Ethiopia or of its institutions, organizations or nationals:
(a)    organizes, engages in or encourages a political, diplomatic, military or economic intelligence service, or recruits or employs another person for such service; or
(b)    collects, transmits, delivers or makes available information of this nature which is secret or is not a matter of public knowledge, to an official service or to a private service or to its agents,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where the espionage is harmful to the State or to the public interest, or with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years where it is harmful to private persons or undertakings.
(2)    Where the information divulged is calculated directly to endanger the internal or external security of the State, the punishment is rigorous imprisonment not exceeding twenty years. In cases of exceptional gravity, and especially in the case of political, diplomatic or military espionage carried out in time of war or danger of war, the criminal is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for life, or, where the vital interests of Ethiopia are at stake, with death.

Article 253- Protection extended to Allied Powers.
The punishments prescribed in this Section shall also apply where one of the crimes thereunder has been committed to the detriment of a power in alliance with or associated with Ethiopia, wherever the legislation of such power provides for reciprocity.

          Section III-  Common Provisions

Article 254- Indirect Aid and Encouragement.
(1)    Whoever, being aware that a crime under Articles 241-246, 252-258 has been committed, or attempted or is being prepared, fails to inform the authorities thereof, or does not to the best of his ability try to prevent the crime from being carried out and to bring the criminal to justice, save in cases of force majeure or manifest impossibility,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years.
(2)    When the crime is committed in time of internal or external emergency, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
(3)    Official or professional secrecy cannot be invoked to evade the obligation to inform the authorities.
(4)    Kinship or close ties of affection with the perpetrator of the crime cannot be invoked as an excuse in the above-mentioned cases (Art. 83).

Article 255- Attempted Incitement and Assistance.
Where the crimes under Articles 238-242, 246-252 have not been attempted, incitement (Art. 36(2)), assistance (Art. 37(3)), or an attempt to incite or assist (Art. 27(2)), in such crimes.
is punishable with simple imprisonment from one month to five years, or with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years in cases where the foreseeable consequences of the activities are particularly grave.

Article 256- Material Preparation of Subversive Acts.
Whoever, for any of the purposes specified under Articles 238-242, 246-252:
(a)    recruits, organizes or brings into a country troops, guerillas, bandits or mercenaries; or
(b)    prepares, stores up or imports arms, munitions, provisions, money or such material means,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.

Article 257- Provocation and Preparation.
Whoever, with the object of committing or supporting any of the acts provided under Articles 238-242, 246-252:
(a)    publicly provokes them by word of mouth, images or writings; or
(b)    conspires towards, plans or urges the formation of, a band or group with other persons, whether within or outside the County; or
(c)    joins such band or group, adheres to its schemes or obeys its instructions; or
(d)    enters into relations or establishes secret communication with a foreign government, political party, organization or agent; or
(e)    launches or disseminates, systematically and with premeditation, by word of mouth, images or writings, inaccurate, hateful or subversive information or insinuations calculated to demoralize the public and to undermine its confidence or its will to resist,
is punishable with simple imprisonment, or where the foreseeable consequences of his activities are particularly grave, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.

Article 258- Aggravation to the Crime.
In all cases in this Chapter for which the law provides the alternative of rigorous imprisonment for life or death, the Court shall pass sentence of death:
(a)    where the crime has been committed during or under threat of internal disturbance, in time of danger of civil or foreign war or foreign interference, or where martial law or any officially recognized state of emergency has been declared; or
(b)    where the acts are the consequence of a conspiracy brought to fruition, or have been carried out by an organized armed band; or
(c)    where the criminal has made use of resources, arms, means or support furnished from abroad or by foreign political parties or organizations; or
(d)    where the criminal has used bombs, dynamite, explosive or other terrorist methods constituting a public danger.

Article 259- Additional penalties and measures.
(1)    In all cases punishable under this Chapter with rigorous imprisonment, the Court may also impose a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Birr where the criminal exercises or has been given an authorized power or leadership assignment, or where he has acted for motives of self-interest.
(2)    Where a foreign national has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years or more, his expulsion on completion of his sentence shall be ordered.
(3)    In all cases of treason, espionage or transmission of secrets, the material, correspondence or documents connected with the crime shall be confiscated.

Article 260-  Confiscation of Property.
Whoever being an Ethiopian national, or being officially entrusted with the protection of Ethiopian national interests is found guilty and convicted of any one of the crimes under Articles 238, 240 and 241, or 246-251 and 252(2) of this Chapter, the Court may, in addition to the principal penalty, order the confiscation of the criminal’s property within the limits specified by law (Art. 98).

CHAPTER II CRIMES AGAINST FOREIGN STATES

Article 261- Hostile Acts Against a Foreign State.
Whoever, within the territory of Ethiopia and at the risk of endangering peaceful relations with foreign countries:
(a)    attempts to disturb, by subversive activities, by slander, by malicious propaganda or by violence, the internal political order or security of a foreign State; or
(b)    infringes a governmental decision, duly published in the Federal Negarit Gazeta or officially declared by other means, taken for the purpose of safeguarding Ethiopia’s neutrality during a foreign war; or
(c)    provokes, undertakes or encourages acts hostile to a foreign belligerent power,
is punishable with simple imprisonment for at least three months, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.

Article 262- Outrages against Foreign Heads of State, Representatives and Other Persons Enjoying Protections under International Law.
(1)    Whoever, within the territory of the State of Ethiopia makes an attack on or endangers the life, liberty or security of head of State or Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representative of a foreign State or his family accompanying him or any official or agent of international organization or any other person enjoying protections from any attack under International law; or endangers his official premise, private accommodations or means of transport; or utters a threat to commit one of the acts specified above;
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
(2)    Where the death of persons specified in Sub-article (1) above ensued during the commission of a crime, the relevant provisions relating to homicide shall apply.

Article 263- Violation of Foreign Sovereignty.
Whoever, contrary to public international law, for the purpose of engaging in unlawful, subversive or dangerous activities:
(a)    enters the territory of a foreign State; or
(b)    improperly performs on the territory of such State acts falling within the jurisdiction of the public authorities,
is punishable with simple imprisonment, or, in more serious cases, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding three years.

Article 264- Insults to Foreign States.
(1)    Whoever in any way publicly abuses, insults, defames or slanders by word of mouth or by deed, a foreign State, either directly or in the person of its Head, of one of its constituted authorities, of one of its accredited diplomatic representatives or of one of its official representatives or delegates in the territory of Ethiopia,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(2)    In grave cases, especially in a case of slander, simple imprisonment shall be for not less than three months.

Article 265- Insults to the Official Emblems of Foreign States.
Whoever, out of ill-will, hatred, contempt or other improper motives tears down, destroys, defaces, insults or in any other way abuses the emblems of sovereignty of a foreign State with which Ethiopia maintains peaceful relations, particularly its insignia or national flag publicly hoisted by an official representative of such State,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.

Article 266- Insults to inter-State Institutions.
Whoever publicly insults the representatives or the official emblems of an inter-State institution or organization of which Ethiopia is a member, is liable to the punishment provided for under Article 265.

Article 267- Reciprocity.The provisions relating to crimes against foreign States laid down in this Chapter shall apply only to States whose legislation grants reciprocal protective treatment to Ethiopia.
Nothing in this Article shall affect the provision of Article 253.

Article 268- Condition of Prosecution.
Prosecution for a crime under this Chapter can only be instituted where a complaint is lodged by the concerned State or organization and on the approval of the Federal Minister of Justice.