Novak Djokovic, whose visa was canceled for the second time this Friday by the Australian government, was transferred this Saturday to a hotel that serves as immigration detention center in Melbourne after meeting with his lawyers. The tennis number one will wait at the Park Hotel for the hearing in which it will be decided whether or not he is deported.
Nole, who was already held in that center after the first cancellation of his visa, was serene and calm, dressed in green sweatpants and a sweater with a white face mask, while being transferred to the hotel.
Added to the show was a small group of protesters who camped in front of the hotel gates with banners calling for the release of the refugees.
Anti-vaccine protesters call for Novak Djokovic’s release. Photo: AP
Djokovic had been authorized to meet this Saturday with his lawyers and discuss the arguments with which they seek to appeal the decision made on Friday by the Australian Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, who decided to revoke the Serb’s entry permit.
Details of the conversations that the tennis player had with his legal representatives that lasted several hours did not come out. At almost 3:00 p.m. (Australian time) two vehicles left the lawyers’ office, and Djokovic was in one of them.
According to the court order issued last night by the Melbourne Federal Circuit Court – which transferred the case to a higher court – Djokovic, 34, had been authorized to meet with his lawyers, before being taken to the detention center.
The tennis player will spend the night in that hotel, where undocumented immigrants have also been staying for years and is famous for its poor comfort conditions, before the hearing scheduled for this Sunday at 9:30 (Australian time) in front of the Court that will urgently deal with your possible deportation.
In a 258-page document filed with the court, Australia’s immigration minister charged that Djokovic’s presence may “lead to an increase in anti-vaccine sentiment in the community” which could lead to riots, like those previously reported in Melbourne.
Djokovic traveled to Melbourne from Spain on January 5 with a medical exemption so as not to be vaccinated, having recently been infected with covid-19, although upon arrival the Immigration authorities canceled his visa and detained him.
On Monday, a court ordered the tennis player’s release after understanding that he had not been treated “fairly”, but yesterday the minister canceled the visa again and Djokovic’s lawyers in turn appealed the decision that could lead to his deportation.
It is unknown at the moment if he will be able to participate in the Australian Open tournament, which begins on Monday, and in whose first round match he will face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic.
Meanwhile, some 200 anti-vaccine protesters gathered this Saturday in front of the Rod Laver Arena, chanting “Free Novak”, “let him play” and slogans against vaccine mandates and passports.
Novak Djokovic and “anti-vaccine sentiment”
After Novak Djokovic was detained by the Australian border authorities this Saturday morning, after the new revocation of his visa because he is not vaccinated against covid-19, the government of that country warned that the presence of the tennis number one can drive to a “rising anti-vaccine sentiment”.
At least that is how the Australian Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, transmitted it, who not only pointed out that the continuation of the Serb in Melbourne could encourage anti-vaccine groups, but also warned that his controversial situation could lead to “civil unrest”.
Hawke, who decided the second cancellation of Nole’s visa, said that the tennis player’s refusal to be vaccinated against covid-19 could not only “represent a risk to the health of the Australian community”, but could also alter the “good order”. ” of the society.
“In particular, your behavior may encourage or influence others to emulate your past behavior and fail to comply with appropriate public health measures following a positive COVID-19 test result, which itself could lead to transmission. of the disease and a serious risk to your health. and others,” said the official.
Photographers and cameramen seek to capture the image of Serbian Novak Djokovic in the offices of his legal team, after the tennis number one’s visa was canceled for the second time. Photo: REUTERS
In this context, Hawke insisted that Djokovic’s presence may lead to an increase in rallies and protests, which themselves may be a source of community transmission.
“I also recognize that Mr. Djokovic is now in the community and there has already been some unrest, so it’s too late to prevent it. This weighs in my mind against the public interest in cancellation,” the Australian minister conveyed.
Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked male tennis player, had his visa revoked twice by immigration officials because he is not vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The last hours of Novak Djokovic
The last hours of the number one in world tennis were crowned with his arrest by the border authorities, during the morning of this Saturday, after his visa was canceled for not being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But the outlook for the Serb began to cloud over on Friday afternoon when his name was curiously left out of the list of players in the training program set for the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, which begins next Monday.
Hours later, the Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, made official the cancellation of the tennis player’s visa.
Faced with this resolution, Djokovic’s legal team challenged the ruling on the same Friday and the case was transferred to the Federal Court of Australia.
The Australian government agreed not deport Djokovic over the weekend before your case concludes.
Djokovic will spend Saturday night in pre-immigration detention while his case is debated in court.
Judge Anthony Kelly, who presided over Friday’s hearing, said Djokovic will be allowed to visit his lawyers’ offices on Saturday to prepare for his hearing on Sunday, before eventually being placed back in pre-hearing arrest. immigration, as required by Australian law.
According to what was reported by the Australian media, the court will hear the detailed arguments in an oral hearing scheduled for Sunday.
If Djokovic’s appeal is successful, the Serbian tennis player, who is the top seed in the tournament, will be able to debut on Monday when he will face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic (78) in the first round.