Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters
Australian politician Craig Kelly has slammed the federal government‘s handling of Novak Djokovic’s visa situation. Kelly feels the World No. 1 has been made a “political prisoner” of Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
“The Prime Minister has put the tennis player Novak Djokovic into detention. Today the world’s No. 1 tennis player is a political prisoner of the Morrison regime,” said Kelly.
Novak Djokovic landed in Melbourne with a medical exemption, but had his visa revoked at the airport as Border Force officials felt he did not meet the criteria for unvaccinated entry.
His visa was reinstated after a court hearing earlier this week, but on Friday, it was revoked for a second time by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is currently in detention, where he will remain until Sunday’s hearing.
Speaking at an anti-vaccination rally, Kelly stated that the Australian government has brought “shame” upon the nation with their treatment of one of the greatest players of all time.
“This embarrasses our nation. It brings shame upon our country, and it plays into the sentiment of vindictiveness and spitefulness that is not the Australian character,” mentioned Kelly.“We also heard, at that late-night court session, that the reason for the cancelation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa was not because he had done anything wrong, was not because he had filled out any form incorrectly but because, in the opinion of the Migration Minister, his being in the country would inflame what they call, so-called, anti-vax sentiment,” added the leader of the United Australia Party.
Australian PM Scott Morrison said Novak Djokovic’s visa was canceled on “health and good order grounds”
In a statement issued on Friday after Alex Hawke’s decision, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Novak Djokovic’s visa had been revoked on “health and good order grounds” and to “protect the sacrifices” made by the Australian public.
“Following careful consideration, action has been taken by the (Immigration) Minister to cancel Mr Djkovic’s visa held on health and good order grounds on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” mentioned Morrison.Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics 2020
“The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods… Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. That is what the minister is doing in taking this action today.”
If Djokovic does not have his visa reinstated during Sunday’s hearing, he will not be allowed to defend his title in Melbourne. He might also be banned from entering the country for three years. The Serb is the most successful player in the history of the Australian Open, having won the title on nine occasions.