Australia re-detains tennis player Djokovic… “Political manhunt”? | DW Arabic news | Breaking news and perspectives from around the world | DW

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was placed under administrative detention Saturday (January 15, 2022) after Australia canceled his entry visa to its territory for a second time, considering that the unvaccinated player against the Corona virus constitutes a threat to public health, pending a judicial decision in this case. .

Although Djokovic’s visa was revoked for the second time on Friday, he was not detained until he finished an interview with immigration officials today. Djokovic left his lawyer’s office just before 3 pm, Australian time, according to the Australian News Agency.

‘Encourages anti-vaccination sentiment’

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said the presence of Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, “could encourage anti-vaccination sentiment”, justifying the use of his broad executive power to revoke his visa.

But Djokovic, 34, will fight again with his legal team to stay in Melbourne, after determining a new means of appeal before the Federal Court on Sunday. The hearing will be held at 9:30 am (22:30 GMT) before the full three-member Federal Court, which means that no space is left for him to appeal the decision before the start of the Australian Open on Monday.

With the outbreak of the Omicron mutant among Australians, Djokovic’s refusal to receive the vaccine caused a great deal of controversy.

After enjoying a few days of freedom and exercise, Noli returned to the immigration detention center after his first successful judicial appeal. A motorcade was seen traveling from his lawyers’ offices, where the world number one remained under guard for most of Saturday, to the former Park Hotel.

With Djokovic considered one of the most prominent yellow ball players in history and was searching for his 21st title in the major tournaments from Monday, Australia portrayed him as a symbol of anti-vaccination and a catalyst for possible “civil disorder” that should be banished in the public interest.

Immigration Minister Hook said in a statement that he had taken the decision to cancel the entry visa “for reasons of health and order”, and the Prime Minister later considered in a statement that the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa came within the framework of protecting the “sacrifices” of the Australian people.

Djokovic arrived in Australia on January 5th, thanks to a special exemption, as he contracted Covid on the 16th of last month, but the authorities refused to allow him to enter, considering that the reasons for exempting the unvaccinated player do not meet the strict conditions imposed on entering its territory in the fight against COVID-19, his visa is refused and he is transferred to the Melbourne Passenger Detention Center.

Serbian criticism

For his part, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic criticized the Australian Prime Minister, accusing his country of “ill-treatment” of the Serbian star. “Why do you mistreat him, why do you treat him in this way, not only against him but also against his family and the whole country?” Vucic said on social media.

Vucic has remained steadfast in his support for Djokovic throughout the drama, describing the tennis star’s previous detention as a “political manhunt”.

“If you wanted to prevent Novak Djokovic from winning the 10th title in Melbourne, why didn’t you bring him back immediately, and why didn’t you tell him it was impossible to get a visa?” the president continued. “Novak, we stand by you!” he added.

A.H./K.S. (AFP, DBA)

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