Tennis Star Djokovic In Australia After Winning Legal Battle

Monday, January 10, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Novak Djokovic returned to the tennis court Monday after winning a legal battle to stay in Australiadespite opposing vaccines amid a broader fight against the country’s harsh restrictions and alleged torture.

The 34-year old tennis star hoped to play in the Australian Open after his exemption from strict vaccine rules, but the government still threatened to cancel his visa and deport him.

The unvaccinated Djokovic was freed after being confined to an immigration hotel for four nights. “I’m pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation,” he wrote near a photo of himself and his team on the court at the Rod Laver Arena, where he won a record nine men’s singles titles. “Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open.”

“I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans,” Djokovic stressed.

Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated Djokovic’s visa, which was pulled after his arrival last week as officials said he didn’t qualify for an exemption to a rule that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated.

Djokovic’s lawyers argue that since he recently recovered from COVID-19, he didn’t need to be inoculated. The judge ruled the No. 1 player had not been given enough time to speak to his lawyers before the decision was made. He ordered the government to release him from the Melbourne quarantine hotel where he was held.

GOVERNMENT WARNING

But government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge that the immigration minister, Alex Hawke, “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.”

That would mean that the nine-time Australian Open winner and defending champion could again face deportation and miss the tournament, which starts on January 17.

It could also bar him from the country for three years. The drama gripped many in and his native Serbia.

“He was subjected to torture, to harassment, and we will hear even more about what he had to go through,” said Djokovic’s mother, Dijana, at a conference in Serbia’s capital Belgrade. “This is his biggest win in his career; it is bigger than any Grand Slam,” she told reporters.

“And of course, he fought against that system and against the government because he thought he had the right to be there with a visa that he got.” The government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, known for introducing lockdowns and vaccine requirements for precision, has denied wrongdoing.

However, the judge ruled the No. 1 player had not been given enough time to speak to his lawyers before the decision was made and ordered the government to release him from the Melbourne quarantine hotel where he was held.

DEPORTATION THREAT

But government lawyer Christopher Tran warned the judge that the immigration minister “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.”

That would mean that the nine-time Australian Open winner and defending champion could again face deportation and miss the tournament, which starts on January 17.

It could also bar him from the country for three years, though supporters appeared optimistic about the outcome.

Yet while jubilant Serbian Australians left the detention hotel their beloved Djokovic had been held in for days, dozens of male refugees were left behind.

Since December 2020, refugee advocates have stood near the former hotel every day, trying desperately to bring awareness to the plight of the 30-plus men stuck indefinitely inside.

They were hoping that the publicity generated by high-profile detainee Djokovic could positively impact the situation of refugees such as Adnan, who stayed here for nine years.

LONG DETENTION

Adnan, who declined to give his last name, said he has been in detention since he was 15. He is now 24.

Describing the conditions in the hotel, he told The Guardian newspaper that he is never called by his name, only “detainee” or by his number.

There is no fresh air in their room, and he doesn’t often mingle with the others – everyone is usually too depressed to leave their room, he said.

Adnan said the crowds outside his window the last few days and the fact they were sharing a building with Djokovic had given them hope, briefly.

“It does warm our hearts. It will help us fight through this unfair environment and give us the strength to fight back this cruel immigration system.”

We're being CENSORED ... HELP get the WORD OUT! SHARE!!!
Copyright 1999-2022 Worthy News. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.

Worthy Christian News