Dual U.S. and Cameroonian citizen and New York literature professor Patrice Nganang, 37, has been released Wednesday after being held in the Central African nation of Cameroon since early this month for criticizing the government.

The professor from New York's Stony Brook University faced a Jan. 19 hearing after being detained in Dec. 7 while trying to leave Cameroon. 

According to supporters, the charges against him ranged from issuing a death threat; insulting constitutional bodies, specifically the military; and inciting violence in a Facebook post.

The court in Yaounde announced early Wednesday that he was released and that all charges were dropped. According to his lawyer Emmanuel Simh, Nganang has been expelled to an unknown destination and has been told not to return.

Nganang had written an article for Jeune Afrique that criticized how the Cameroon government sometimes handled violent secessionist movement in some English-speaking areas that have complained about discrimination by French speakers.

Human rights groups that have accused Cameroon authorities of trying to silence opposition voices have rallied for Nganang's release.

"We can only be very happy, when we have an unlawfully and arbitrarily detained client, to see him released," Simh said.

Cameroon had faced international pressure over his conviction.

Patrice Nganang

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