KIGALI (Reuters) – Rwanda’s government has deported an American pastor hours after his arrest for “disturbing public order”, officials said.
Gregg Schoof was arrested on Monday and deported late that evening directly to the United States, Rwanda’s director general of immigration Francois Regis Gatarayiha told Reuters.
He said Schoof’s visa had expired and he had requested several days to prepare to leave the central African country, but “he then engaged in activities that disturbed the public order”.
Schoof emailed Rwandan journalists on Sunday inviting them to a news conference he said he wanted to host before leaving the country.
Police arrested him at the venue of the planned news conference. [nL5N26S50X] Just before that, Schoof handed journalists a statement his church would move to Uganda this month because Rwanda had denied his visa renewal application.
Schoof’s radio station in Rwanda was shut down by authorities last year after it aired a sermon said by women’s rights activists to “spread hate against women.” The sermon described women as “evil.”
Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Editing by Giulia Paravicini/Mark Heinrich