Djokovic jailed for 4 days in Australia

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World number one Novak Djokovic on Sunday (8/1) completed his fourth day in immigration detention as Australian authorities finalized a plea to explain their decision to revoke his visa due to the COVID-19 vaccine exemption.

The Serbian sports star was supposed to compete at this month’s Australian Open, but was detained in a hotel normally used to host asylum seekers. Djokovic has taken legal action against Australia’s (6/1) decision to revoke his visa when he arrived at the Melbourne Airport arrivals terminal on Thursday.

Djokovic declined to reveal his vaccination status or his reasons for seeking a medical exemption to circumvent Australia’s vaccination regulations. He opened his voice by filing a lawsuit on Saturday, 8/1. He said he gave up in December because he contracted the virus and recovered.

The Australian government said the health department notified Tennis Australia in November that COVID-19 infection could not be a reason for exclusion in the country. According to Djokovic’s case, the Australian Home Office wrote to him this month that he had met all the requirements for entry into the country.

Asked about the Djokovic issue at a press conference on Sunday, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt declined to comment before the hearing. However, he emphasized that there are a few more people who participated in the tournament and whose visas were also cancelled.

Czech actress Renata Voracova was detained at the same hotel and her visa was revoked due to problems with the vaccine. The Czech Foreign Ministry said it chose to leave Australia without legal action.

Djokovic’s trial will be heard on Monday (9/1). [vm/ah]

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