Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, whose visa was revoked for the second time on Friday, was transferred this Saturday to a hotel that serves as an immigration detention center in Melbourne after meeting with the lawyers representing him.
The Balkan athlete arrived at Hotel Park, where he had already been detained when his entry permit was revoked for the first time, wearing a green tracksuit and a face mask, the public channel confirmed in images ABC.
Djokovic had permission to meet this morning with the lawyers who represent him for a period of four hours and discuss the arguments with which seek to appeal the decision made yesterday by the Australian Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, who decided to revoke Djokovic’s entry permit. At the moment, the conversations between the Balkan and his legal representatives that lasted several hours have not transpired.
Around 2:45 p.m. local time (03:45 GMT, Friday) two vehicles left the lawyers’ office, and in one of them was a man dressed in green clothes and covering his face and ears with a cap. in the presence of the media.
less than an hour later, local media captured Djokovic’s entrance to the hotel used by Immigration. A small group of pro-refugee protesters camped outside the gates of the compound with banners calling for the release of asylum seekers detained at the facility.
It must be remembered that in an article he published The Guardian Last October, they reported that the staff working at the hotel and the detainees denounced that it was an “incubator” for COVID-19. In that month, 22 of the 46 occupants tested positive. Some were medicated by the nursing staff. Those who needed medical attention were taken to the hospital and returned to the hotel once they were discharged.
For his part, in the first arrest of the number one in the ATP world ranking, from the Serbian press there was great anger at the accommodation conditions imposed on Djokovic. The newspaper Telegraph described the site as “horrible” and charged harshly against the conditions in which its occupants are. “The horror hotel where Novak is staying has a horrible history, a deadly wave spread from there”, pointed from the middle of the home country of the number one in the world.
The athlete will spend the night in this center, where undocumented immigrants have also been held for years and is famous for its poor comfort conditions, before the scheduled hearing tomorrow at 9:30 local time (22:30 GMT, Saturday ) in front of the Federal Court to urgently deal with the possible deportation of the Balkan.
In a 258-page document filed in court, the Australian immigration minister charged that Djokovic’s presence may “lead to increased anti-vaccine sentiment in the community” which could lead to riots, like those previously recorded in Melbourne.
Djokovic traveled on January 5 to Melbourne from Spain with a medical exemption for not being vaccinated, having recently been infected with covid-19, although upon arrival the Immigration authorities canceled his visa and detained him.
Monday, a court ordered the tennis player’s release after understanding that he had not been treated with “fairness”, 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.
The Spaniard Rafael Nadal explained in reference to the possible absence of Novak Djokovic that “There is no tennis player who is above an event like the Australian Open” in his press conference prior to the start of the Australian ‘major’ that will take place this Monday.
“If he plays, everything is perfect, but if not, too. I wish him the best, we have done great things together for the circuit”. he added after completing his morning workout with American Taylor Fritz.
The Spaniard argued that “it is important to accept that not everything is perfect after being away for six months” from the competition.
“It’s normal to make some mistakes or move a little slower. A few months ago I didn’t even know if I was going to come, so I’m very happy to be back.”, commented the champion of 20 Grand Slam titles who will face American Marcos Giron in the first round.
(With information from EFE)