Games and Sports

Novak Djokovic again in immigration custody, legal battle against deportation continues

Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
File photo of Novak Djokovic

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic is again in immigration custody after his visa was canceled for the second time for not being vaccinated against Corona. His appeal against the cancellation of visa will be heard before the High Court of three judges. The matter will be heard in the Federal Court on Sunday while the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, starts on Monday.

Djokovic, the defending champion, has won the Australian Open title nine times. Police have closed the lane behind the building where Djokovic’s lawyers are staying. On Saturday afternoon, two vehicles came out of there. TV footage showed Djokovic sitting in the back seat wearing a mask as the vehicle stopped outside the immigration detention hotel. The Australian Associate Press reported that Djokovic is in custody again. He had spent four nights in the same hotel earlier as well.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said on Friday that he had exercised his privileges as minister to revoke the 34-year-old Serbian’s visa on public interest grounds. Hawke said that he has taken this decision keeping in mind the public interest for health reasons. He said in a statement, “The Morrison Government is committed to protecting the Australian borders during this period of the Corona epidemic.” Djokovic’s visa has been canceled for the second time.

His visa was revoked by the Australia Border Force on arrival in Melbourne last week because he did not meet the criteria required for medical exemption from Australia’s stringent coronavirus vaccination rules. He spent four nights in the segregation hotel, after which the judge gave a verdict in his favor on Monday. Meanwhile, in a social media post, Djokovic admitted that there was a mistake in his travel detail form but called it an unintentional human error by his agent. Hawke, however, did not cancel his visa on public interest grounds because of this. His lawyers have submitted documents to the court in which Hawke said Djokovic was considered an opponent of vaccination. In Australia, 89 percent of people over the age of 16 and 100 percent of the elderly have been vaccinated.

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