Father of Tennis Star Djokovic Appeals to Queen Elizabeth II to Intervene in Visa Row
14:41 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 14:58 GMT 10.01.2022)
© PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVICSerbian tennis player Novak Djokovic's father Srdjan (R) and mother Dijana hold a press conference in Belgrade, on January 10, 2022
© PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVIC
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The father of world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, Srdjan Djokovic, has called on Queen Elizabeth II to intervene in the situation with his son's deportation from Australia following his visa cancellation over COVID-19 vaccination exemption, overturned by an Australian court earlier on Monday.
The 34-year-old tennis star, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, had his visa revoked after he arrived in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title. Djokovic was then placed in detention awaiting deportation, but was released after a court overturned the cancellation on Monday. Despite this, the decision on his deportation can still be made by the Australian authorities.
"I call on the Queen of Britain, Elizabeth, the leader of the Commonwealth, to intervene and protect the human rights of my son Novak Djokovic and to stop the political prosecution that has been carried out against him since he came to Australia," the player's father was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Srdjan Djokovic labelled Australia an autocracy and the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison a dictator who "dared to take justice into his own hands," the daily said.
"I appeal to the Queen of Britain, Elizabeth, to intervene and stop the torture carried out over the multiple Wimbledon champion, decorated by Prince William for achievements in philanthropy," Djokovic's father said as quoted by the Daily Mail.
He also urged Australians and the international community to "raise their voice against terror, and the brutal human rights violations of the world's best tennis player," the report said.
The Australian government reportedly detained Djokovic once again despite a court ruling in order to deport him from the country. Australia's Immigration Minister Alex Hawke had four hours to detain him legally. However, the government did not make the final decision during this period, so the tennis player should be let free. Hawke is expected to decide on the cancellation of the Serb's visa early Tuesday morning.
Djokovic was accused of skirting COVID-19 rules that require all tennis players to present proof of vaccination or a medical exemption. Djokovic's lawyers argued that he had been granted an exemption after being cured of the disease in December.