Novak Djokovic, 34, has rarely had to live in such a cramped space and in such a poor environment. The tennis star is currently being forcibly confined to the infamous Park Hotel in downtown Melbourne. This is after the visa chaos around Djokovic’s entry on Thursday. The No. 1 tennis player wants to play the Australian Open. Instead, there is now a carry-over holding without extra sausage.
Before leaving for Australia, Djoker generously announced on Instagram that he was traveling “on a special pass to Down Under”. Australians didn’t want to know anything about a special permit for the unvaccinated. After eight hours of questioning, Djokovic was escorted to the Park Hotel in Melbourne’s Carlton neighborhood. Australian authorities refuse to officially confirm that Djokovic is being held there. Television footage showed Djokovic arriving Thursday evening at this hotel for people who had to leave the country – that is, for deportation prisoners.
Djokovic, currently the world’s highest-paid tennis player, a 20-time Grand Slam champion and number one for 377 weeks, is being hosted by Australian authorities in a hotel with refugees, prisoners and unwanted persons. Needless to say, the rooms look a little different than those in the luxury accommodations that Djokovic would otherwise choose. Now he has no choice. But it also shows fighting spirit. The judges are due to re-evaluate his case on Monday.
“Mr. Djokovic can go at any time, the border guards will help him.”
A famous Melbourne lawyer told The Australian that Djokovic has a “good chance” of playing the Australian Open after all. The verdict comes on Monday. It takes days to take action against deportation. The days when Djokovic has to give up all the privileges. Even the facade of the hotel looks desolate. They are held in a not very complicated room that other deportation detainees have used before. With guards at the door and no special food requests. There is strict solitary confinement with no visits.
Serbia, the home of Djokovic, is making a fuss over the treatment of its national hero. “Djokovic is in prison,” said the indignant Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (51). Meanwhile, the Australian ambassador in Belgrade has been summoned to the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian newspaper “Sydney Morning Herald” reported. The Serbs demand that Djokovic be moved to a better hotel. Djokovic’s parents are indignant that their son is “a prisoner in a dirty room in a hotel for immigrants.” You are not wrong about that.
Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews (61) has responded to allegations from Serbia that Djokovic is being held as if he were in prison. “Mr Djokovic is not being held in Australia, he can go at any time, border guards will help him,” Andrews told ABC News on Friday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 53, had already assured the day before that the same rules would apply to everyone: “No one is above the law.”
larvae in food
Djokovic has now already spent two nights at the Park Hotel. Until Monday there are three more. Government prisoners have been housed in the Park Hotel since December 2020. The hotel has been infamous ever since. Covid outbreaks have occurred. A fire broke out on the third and fourth floors two weeks ago. One person had to go to the hospital. At the end of December, an asylum seeker residing in Prison Park posted a photo of maggots in his meal. He was imprisoned for two years. This food disgusts even the guards.
Nights for their hero
Some of Djokovic’s roommates have been held captive for years and are still hoping to get a visa for Australia. According to human rights lawyers, there are currently more than two dozen refugees and asylum seekers Djokovic’s neighbors in the Park Hotel. One group was held for nine years. Activists continue to demonstrate in front of the hotel. “Stop the torture center,” the poster read. The rooms are narrow and at the same time flowing.
Since Djokovic has stayed there, his fans have also made a pilgrimage to the hotel. They gathered, draped in Serbian flags, in front of the hotel. Some hold a vigil and worshipers were seen on Thursday. Djokovic’s homage to her is almost messianic.
Ainry’s Drama Melbourne: Serbian fans protest in front of the Djokovic Hotel(01:28)
The park is called a 4.5 star hotel, with prices starting at the equivalent of 70 francs. It appears that rooms can still be booked on their website. It also looks nice, spacious and clean on the website. The major international booking portals for park hotels are not listed. Blick’s booking request was unsuccessful.
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