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Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Leading Australian Minister insists Novak Djokovic is ‘not being held captive, he is free to leave’

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Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has refuted claims that Novak Djokovic is being held captive and has emphasised “the individual traveller is responsible.”

After 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was detained when his medical exemption failed to meet the relevant criteria and his visa was  then cancelled. Djokovic has been allowed to remain in Australia with an injunction as he looks to battle the deportation case in court.

Djokovic’s has family accused the Australian Government of holding him captive. Father Srdjan has claimed the Australian Government are “trying to crucify him and throw him to his knees,” whilst brother Djordje feels his sibling is being “treated like a criminal” in the “greatest sporting scandal.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic’s mother Dijana revealed the living conditions in which the Serbian star is being detained. In a press conference at their family restaurant, Dijana told reporters “they’re keeping him as a prisoner, it’s just not fair, it’s not human.

“Terrible accommodation. It’s just some small immigration hotel, if it’s a hotel at all, with some bugs.

“It’s all dirty and the food is so terrible as well.”

Speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said “Mr. Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia. He is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so and (Australian) Border Force (ABF) will actually facilitate that.

“So, firstly, you need a visa to enter Australia. And you have to meet the entry requirements to come into Australia.

“Now, currently that includes making sure that you have a negative PCR test before you’re uplifted, so, it’s three days before you are uplifted you need to complete an Australia travel declaration.

“And you need to, and this is the important part in particular, you need to make sure that you have proof that you are fully vaccinated against Covid.

“Yes, there was a visa issued, that is actually not the issue. It is the second part of that process, which is the specific entry requirements to be able to cross Australia’s border and to enter Australia lawfully,” Andrews outlined.

“Now, it is the individual traveller’s responsibility to make sure that they have in place all the necessary documentation that is needed to enter Australia.

“So, ultimately, the individual traveller is the one that’s responsible. I can’t say with any level of clarity at all what Tennis Australia’s involvement was specifically in relation to Mr Djokovic or to any individual.”

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Novak Djokovic US Open 2021
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