Vaccine-skeptical tennis pro: protests in Serbia over possible deportation of Djokovic from Australia

Due to the impending deportation of tennis star Novak Djokovic from Australia, hundreds of people have gathered for protests in his native Serbia. The father of

Vaccine-skeptical tennis pro: protests in Serbia over possible deportation of Djokovic from Australia

Due to the impending deportation of tennis star Novak Djokovic from Australia, hundreds of people have gathered for protests in his native Serbia. The father of the world number one told the protesters in Belgrade on Thursday that he wanted "support and no violence" for his son. Srdjan Djokovic had called for the protests after Australian border guards denied the vaccine-skeptical tennis player entry to Melbourne because of missing documents.

At the demonstration in Belgrade, numerous participants waved Serbian flags or carried banners, among others with the inscription: "They are afraid of the best, stop corona fascism".

Srdjan Djokovic compared the case of his son, who was accommodated in a controversial hotel in Australia and is waiting for a deportation decision, with the suffering of Jesus Christ: "Jesus was crucified and subjected to many things, but he persevered and still lives among us. Novak was crucified in the same way." Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had previously spoken of a "political hunt" for the tennis professional.

Djokovic was detained by the Australian authorities for hours at the airport on Wednesday evening, later he was taken to a hotel, which the authorities also use as a detention center for migrants. According to the Australian Border Protection, Djokovic's visa to the country was canceled due to the lack of proof of vaccination. Now a court is dealing with the possible deportation. Djokovic actually wants to take part in the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.

The tennis star, who does not make his vaccination status public and had repeatedly expressed criticism of corona vaccinations, had landed in Melbourne after he had received a medical exemption from the organizers of the Australian Open, according to his own statements. Accordingly, he should not have to prove that he is fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The border guards saw it differently.

Updated Date: 07 January 2022, 00:00

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