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Djokovic returns to detention as he fights Australia deportation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s authorities revoked Djokovic’s visa for a second time amid public outcry over violations of COVID guidelines.

Novak Djokovic has returned to detention in Australia, after authorities ripped up his visa for a second time and declared the unvaccinated tennis famous person a menace to the general public.

The world’s top-ranked tennis participant had surrendered to officers in Melbourne for an interview at about 8am native time on Saturday (21:00 GMT on Friday), following a court docket order issued on Friday night time.

Australian Border Pressure (ABF) officers accompanied the 34-year-old participant to his lawyer’s places of work for the net listening to within the Federal Court docket at 10:15am native time on Saturday (23:15 GMT on Friday).

His case now strikes to an appeals court docket and a listening to is scheduled for Sunday.

Simply two days earlier than the Australian Open begins, the world primary is once more combating detention and deportation – the most recent twist in a high-profile row over his COVID-19 vaccine standing.

This is the second attempt by Australia’s government to deport Djokovic, one of many world’s most high-profile COVID-19 vaccine sceptics.

The 34-year-old Serbian had used a medical exemption to enter Australia earlier this month, hoping to problem for a file twenty first Grand Slam title on the Open.

Amid public outcry, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s authorities had revoked Djokovic’s visa on arrival.

‘Gaming the system’

Many Australians – who’ve suffered extended lockdowns and border restrictions – imagine Djokovic gamed the system to dodge vaccine entry requirements.

However the authorities was humiliated when a judge reinstated Djokovic’s visa and allowed him to stay within the nation.

This time, the federal government has invoked distinctive – and troublesome to problem – govt powers to declare him a menace to public well being and security.

Authorities attorneys are anticipated to argue that Djokovic’s presence stirs anti-vaccine sentiment in Australia amid a tidal wave of Omicron infections.

They’re additionally anticipated to say Djokovic wouldn’t adjust to COVID-19 laws, posing a danger to public well being.

The tennis ace contracted COVID-19 in mid-December and, according to his own account, did not isolate regardless of figuring out he was optimistic.

Public data present he attended a stamp unveiling, youth tennis occasion and granted a media interview across the time he acquired examined and his an infection was confirmed.


In an announcement, immigration minister Alex Hawke mentioned the federal government was “firmly dedicated to defending Australia’s borders, significantly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic”, citing “well being and good order grounds” for the choice to cancel Djokovic’s visa as soon as once more.

Hawke mentioned “it was within the public curiosity to take action”.

The federal government has agreed to not deport Djokovic till the listening to is over, barrister Stephen Lloyd instructed an emergency late-night federal court docket session Friday.

Djokovic is the Australian Open’s prime seed and a nine-time event winner. He had been practising simply hours earlier than Hawke’s determination was introduced.

It’s unclear if Djokovic will select to remain and struggle the case if he believes he’s unable to compete within the Australian Open.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Friday accused Australia of “mistreating” the nation’s greatest star and a nationwide hero.

“In the event you wished to ban Novak Djokovic from successful the tenth trophy in Melbourne why didn’t you come back him instantly, why didn’t you inform him ‘it’s unattainable to acquire a visa’?” Vucic mentioned on Instagram.

“Novak, we stand by you!”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the choice, saying: “Australians have made many sacrifices throughout this pandemic, and so they rightly anticipate the results of these sacrifices to be protected.”

The visa cancellation successfully means Djokovic could be barred from acquiring a brand new Australian visa for 3 years, besides underneath distinctive circumstances, ruling him out of one of many 4 Grand Slam tournaments throughout that point.

He’s at the moment tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 Grand Slam titles every.

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