Cameroon frees US professor held for criticizing government

A judge has ordered the release of a New York literature professor held in the Central African nation of Cameroon since early December.

Patrice Nganang's lawyer says the dual U.S. and Cameroonian citizen was released early Wednesday. Emmanuel Simh says his Cameroonian passport was taken and that he will be expelled to an unknown destination.

Nganang, a professor at New York's Stony Brook University, had faced a Jan. 19 hearing after being detained Dec. 7 while trying to leave his native country.

Nganang has been critical of President Paul Biya, in power since 1982.

The 37-year-old had written an article criticizing how the government has handled a secessionist movement in some English-speaking areas.

Human rights groups and others had urged his release.