The Australian Home Secretary Responds That Djokovic "is Not Captive" And You Can Leave The Country Whenever You Want

An Australian court will examine on Monday the appeal filed by Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic’s lawyers after the revocation of his visa to enter the country with a medical exemption that allowed him to participate in the Australian Open, reported the public network ABC. The authorities have also canceled the visa for the Czech tennis player Renata Vorácová, who will have to return to her country.

After a quick preliminary hearing, Judge Anthony Kelly of a Melbourne court ordered both parties to deliver their arguments over the weekend, which will be analyzed on Monday from 10 a.m. Djokovic will not be deported until the matter is addressed in court and will remain, for the time being, in a hotel in the city, a controversial place destined to the quarantines of COVID-19 patients arriving in Australia and detaining asylum seekers.

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Australian Home Secretary Karen Andrews has said she is not “captive” and can leave the country at any time. “Mr. Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia (because) he is free to leave at any time he decides to do so and the Border Force will surely facilitate it,” Minister Andrews said in an interview with Australian public broadcaster ABC.

The Australian Home Secretary has also defended the decision of the immigration authorities, which had granted the 34-year-old Serbian a visa and later revoked it. According to Andrews, it was determined when he arrived in the country that he did not have sufficient evidence to show that he meets the requirements imposed in Australia by the pandemic.

The Serbian Foreign Ministry on Thursday presented a formal protest to the Australian ambassador to Serbia, Daniel Emery, for the “indecent treatment” that the tennis player is receiving in Melbourne.

A source from the border control authority has also confirmed to ABC the withdrawal of Renata Vorácová’s visa, despite the fact that the tennis player was already in the country and had played a preparation match prior to the Australian Open. Vorácová, who is not known to appeal the decision, was transferred to the same Melbourne hotel where Djokovic is being held by immigration authorities.

According to the media, the 38-year-old Czech entered Australia in December with a medical exemption granted by Tennis Australia, organizers of the tournament, as she would have recently recovered from COVID-19. However, the Australian authorities indicated that this argument was not valid to obtain a special permit to enter the country, where harsh measures have been applied to stop the pandemic.

The Serb, who arrived in Australia on Wednesday night, was transferred Thursday morning to the Park Hotel in the city of Melbourne, which also houses a group of asylum seekers who have been detained by immigration authorities, after that he was interviewed for more than eight hours by the border authorities for not complying with the requirements imposed by COVID-19.

In front of the hotel where the world’s number one is being held, more than a hundred supporters of the tennis player have gathered, including members of the Serbian and anti-vaccine community. The protesters, some dressed as tennis players, have mixed with the activists who regularly gather around the Park Hotel to demand the rights of more than thirty asylum seekers who have been detained there for months.

The Australian Border Force confirmed in a statement the revocation of the visa to Djokovic, known for opposing mandatory immunization against COVID-19, arguing that “non-citizens who do not have a valid visa upon entry or who have been canceled the visa will be detained and expelled from Australia. “

“There are no special cases. The rules are the rules,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, explaining at a press conference in Canberra that travelers entering Australia are required to have the full schedule of the covid vaccine -19 or a medical exemption.

The vaccine is mandatory to enter Australia, but there are temporary exemptions for people who have “a serious medical condition”, who cannot be vaccinated because they have contracted COVID-19 in the previous six months or have had an adverse reaction to the drug. , Between other reasons.

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