Novak Djokovic kept in Melbourne hotel, Serbian president calls “political witch hunt”
On Friday, Jelena Djokovic, wife of tennis legend Novak Djokovic, shared her support for her husband on social media. The 34-year-old man who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 was arrested on arrival at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport and is currently being held in a Melbourne hotel.
The Australian government also canceled his visa and kept it at the Park Hotel in north Melbourne, where immigration officials are also placing refugees and asylum seekers.
In dramatic developments on January 6, Novak Djokovic’s visa was canceled and the Australian Border Force announced that he would not be allowed to enter the country.
Jelena Djokovic in her tweet today said that this experience will help them grow. “It’s Christmas today for us, my wishes are for everyone to be healthy, happy, safe and with families. We wish we were all together today, but my consolation is that at the less healthy we are and we will grow from that experience, ”she said.
It’s Christmas today for us, my best wishes are that everyone will be healthy, happy, safe and family. We wish we were all together today, but my consolation is that at least we’re healthy. And we will grow from this experience. ️
– Jelena Djokovic (@jelenadjokovic) January 7, 2022
She also thanked people around the world for using their voices to send love to Djokovic. “I take a deep breath to calm myself down and find gratitude (and understanding) right now for everything that’s going on. The only law we should all obey across every border is love and respect for another human being. Love and forgiveness are never a mistake but a powerful force, ”she added.
Meanwhile, Djokovic’s mother Dijana also spoke out against the federal government and said the situation was nothing less than a political attack. “I have been feeling bad since yesterday, the last 24 hours. They keep him as a prisoner. It’s not fair. It’s not human, ”she said Thursday at a press conference in Belgrade.
“I just hope he will be strong because we are also trying to be very strong to give him the energy to continue. I hope he wins,” she said, calling her son a sacrificial and world-changing revolutionary lamb. She also said that the place where Djokovic is being held is a small immigration hotel and cannot even be called a hotel. “Some bugs, it’s dirty and the food is so horrible, ”Dijana added.
Djokovic had arrived in Melbourne to play the Australian Open
Importantly, Djokovic only traveled to Melbourne after being granted permission to play at the Australian Open by independent medical panels appointed by the Victorian government. Djokovic was reportedly infected with the virus within the past six months and this, according to the guidelines of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI), was a valid reason for a temporary exemption from receiving the vaccine.
Upon his arrival, Djokovic was detained by the ABF and was allegedly interrogated for hours.
This is Djokovic at Melbourne Airport last night. I spoke to the man who took this photo. He says Novak showed a bundle of papers to Border Force with the Tennis Australia logos on it. It seems to me that Djokovic legitimately had the impression that he had an exemption thanks to TA. @ 2GB873 pic.twitter.com/uOtSYyBOR7
– Chris O’Keefe (@ cokeefe9) January 6, 2022
He was also denied the request to spend his quarantine period in a rented apartment where his team is located. All of his personal belongings are also at the airport, including his wallet and important documents.
#Djokovic was refused a request to spend his quarantine period in a rented apartment where his team is located. He still doesn’t have his wallet and his things are at the airport. A few bugs in his room too.
– Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) January 6, 2022
Serbian president calls it a “political witch hunt”
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has reportedly said Novak Djokovic fell victim to a “political witch hunt” as fans in Belgrade rallied to support the tennis legend after Australian authorities canceled his Visa.
“Estamos tomando todas las medidas para detener el acoso al mejor tenista del mundo en el menor tiempo posible. De acuerdo con todas las normas del derecho público internacional nuestro país luchará por él, por la justicia y la verdad ”, Aleksandar Vucic, president of Serbia🇷🇸 pic.twitter.com/BSI6w9QCNc
– VarskySports (@VarskySports) January 5, 2022
“We are taking all measures to end the harassment of the best tennis player in the world as soon as possible. In accordance with all the standards of public international law, our country will fight for it, for justice and for truth, ”he declared.
It should be noted here that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced yesterday that the rules are the same for everyone and that Djokovic, who is not vaccinated, will not be allowed to enter Australia. Indian teenager Aman Dahiya, 17, who has yet to receive the Covid vaccine, has also been refused entry. Russian tennis player Natalia Vikhlyantseva has also been refused entry because Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which is used in more than 70 countries around the world, is not recognized by the Australian government.
The 2022 Australian Open is a Grand Slam tennis tournament set to take place in Melbourne Park, January 17-30. It will be the 110th edition of the Australian Open, the 54th in the Open era, and the first Grand Slam of the year.