S. Sudan journalist 'freed after months held without charge'

Members of the South Sudanese army (SPLA) patrol the half-emptied village of Leer, South Sudan, on February 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

Juba (AFP) - South Sudanese security forces have released a journalist held for two months without charge, who had criticised the government's handling of a two-year civil war, reports said Saturday.

The arrest of Joseph Afandy in December sparked condemnation from rights groups including Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Colleagues and friends told Juba's Eye Radio and Radio Tamazuj that Afandy was now home.

Rights groups have accused the security forces of cracking down on journalists, stifling debate on how to end a civil war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed since December 2013.

Seven journalists were killed last year while covering the conflict.

Some were caught up in the fighting but a reporter was also shot in August in an apparently targeted attack.

International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks South Sudan as the 125th worst nation out of 180.

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