On 17th July 2010, Journalist and human rights defender Jean-Claude Kavumbagu was arrested for treason in connection with the publication of two articles investigating abuses by the Burundian army. He is still imprisoned. Jean Claude is editor of the online news agency, Net Press.
Following two hours of interrogation, Jean-Claude Kavumbagu was taken to Mpimba Prison. He reportedly faces charges of treason under Article 570 and 571 of the Criminal Code.
Reports say he was interrogated regarding two articles published on 12 July 2010. These articles dealt with a controversial military operation which led to the deaths of civilians, and also with the ability of the defence and security forces to prevent the possibility of an attack in Burundi by the al-Shabaab militia group.
Legal counsel for Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, who was not present during the questioning of the human rights defender, challenged the legality of his arrest given that his client never received notice of any summons for questioning, which -if unanswered- would have justified the arrest.
Jean-Claude Kavumbagu has previously been subject to arrest four times because of his journalism and work as a human rights defender. Most recently, he was arrested in September 2008 on charges of defamation before being acquitted in March 2009.
Front Line believe that Jean-Claude has been arrested not because of any criminal activity but because of his human rights work.