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Djokovic waits at a hotel for detained asylum seekers as prosecutors fight Australia’s ban

MELBOURNE, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic stayed at a Melbourne hotel for at least 72 hours following a denial of entry into Australia on Thursday.Medical Exemption From the Govit-19 vaccine requirements.

The tennis star, who broke his 21st Grand Slam record at the Australian Open, stayed in the country after his lawyers. Started an appeal Seeks to overturn the decision of the Central Government. The court agreed not to deport him before the full hearing scheduled for Monday.

The story, triggered by domestic political scores about the country’s handling of the record increase in new COVID-19 infections, led to international rankings, with the Serbian president saying his country’s most famous athlete was being persecuted.

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Djokovic’s family held a rally with about 300 fans in front of Serbia’s parliament building in Belgrade on Thursday, with some waving Serbian flags and raising slogans in support of their statue. His father told the crowd that the struggle would continue daily until his son was released.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed Djokovic’s decision to refuse to attend a televised news conference.

“There are no special cases, the rules are the rules,” he said. “We will continue to make the right decisions in protecting Australian borders in relation to this epidemic.”

Rafael Nadal, the Spanish champion Told reporters in Melbourne He lamented his rival “but at the same time, he was aware of the conditions many months ago.”

Djokovic, who has consistently refused to release his vaccine status while publicly criticizing compulsory vaccines, was outraged when he announced on Instagram on Tuesday that he had been given a medical exemption to attend the Open, which starts on January 17th.

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The announcement sparked an outcry in Australia, especially in the rival city of Melbourne, which has the world’s longest-running overall lockout to prevent the corona virus.

Court war

At a hearing in Australia’s Federal Circuit and Family Court on Thursday evening, Djokovic and government lawyers agreed the player could stay in the country until at least Monday.

Djokovic’s fate is tied to a political battle in Australia, which is characterized by the fingertips between Morrison’s conservative administration and the left – wing Victorian state government.

Fighting erupted as Australia’s daily Govt-19 infections rose to record levels for the fourth day in a row, flooding hospitals and causing labor shortages. read more

Under Australia’s federal system, states and territories may be exempt from vaccination requirements to enter their jurisdiction. However, the federal government controls international borders and may challenge such exemptions.

Djokovic was exempted from the Victorian government – for unknown reasons – which supported his federal visa.

Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Group F – Serbia v Austria – Olympiahall, Innsbruck, Austria – Novak Djokovic, November 26, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays against ROUTERS / Leonhard Foeger of Austria.

However, on his arrival, Federal Border Force officials at the airport said Djokovic could not justify the exceptional cause.

The Australian Working Group, which sets exceptions, lists the risk of acute heart disease from vaccination and Govt-19 infection over the past six months. But Morrison said he was advised weeks ago that tennis Australia did not meet the criteria for the latest infection exception.

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Government officials in Tennis Australia and Victoria said Djokovic was not a priority.

As the Open opens on January 17, Djokovic’s lawyer, Nick Wood, told Judge Anthony Kelly that he advised Tennis Australia to be aware of his participation in the tournament by Tuesday.

Kelly responded by asking when Djokovic would play in his first match, saying, “If I could say it with the necessary respect, the dog here would not wag its tail.”

‘Neither man nor justice’

The Australian government’s move to block Djokovic’s entry has caused a stir between Canberra and Belgrade.

Serbian President Alexander Vusic has spoken to Djokovic and said on Twitter that the Australian government is being persecuted.

“This harassment is unjustified, starting with the Australian Prime Minister,” he later told the Serbian media. “They act as if the same rules apply to everyone, but allow others on the same grounds that Novak applied.”

Morrison said he was aware that “representations had been made” by the Serbian embassy in Canberra, but denied allegations of harassment.

Djokovic’s father, Sturgeon, told the media in Serbia that his son was taken into solitary confinement in police custody when he arrived late Wednesday at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport on a 14 – hour flight from Dubai.

His family held an emotional news conference at Djokovic’s restaurant in Belgrade, where his previous nine Australian Open trophies were on display.

“They are holding him captive. They are trampling all over Novak to beat Serbia,” his father said, having previously described his son to the local media as “Spartacus of the New World”.

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There was also support on the streets of the Serbian capital.

“He’s the best in the history of the game and can not break him in any other way than this. But they are not going to break him,” said Zdravko Cukic, who lives in Belgrade.

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Reported by Courtney Walsh in Melbourne and John Myer in Sydney; Additional report by Ivana Sekularok and Joran Milosevljevic in Belgrade; Written by Jane Wardell and Alex Richardson; Editing by Stephen Coates, Simon Cameron-Moore and Hugh Lawson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.