The Australian government’s decision last week to revoke Novak Djokovic’s entry visa was unfair, an Australian judge said on Monday when he released Novak Djokovic. Unusually for a judge, he had already spoken in favor of the tennis player during the hearing. So he raised the question of the rhetorical question of “what else could the Serbs do” to meet the official requirements.
Djokovic was denied entry last week because officials believe he does not have the documents required for a medical exemption permit to enter the country without a coronavirus vaccination. Apparently, however, they uploaded this paper – as needed – to the immigration authorities’ online portal, only to then proceed to the Interior Ministry to enter the country.
After a 14-hour flight to the immigration counter at midnight, things suddenly looked different. Apparently the authorities did not want to know anything about this. He rejected the documents.
Hate? political influence? Maybe not. The cause of the chaos is perhaps much more common: the bureaucratic Birchermuseli of Australian officials. State officials don’t talk to federal government officials – one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.
For once, a problem that Australians face every day, it had a positive side. Refugee organizations could not have asked for a better scam than this to point to a bigger scam.
Dozens of rejected asylum seekers stay in the same hotel where Djokovic had to stay for several nights – some as long as nine years. The conditions are frightening: poor food, sometimes infested with insects, no fresh air, social isolation, suicidal tendencies. Jail only. For those who were looking for nothing but a life of safety.
What is the Secretary of Immigration Hawk doing?
Humanitarian organizations will thank the Serbs for a long time to come that Djokovic shed light on world public opinion on this brutal practice. But not for his arrogance of voluntarily and intentionally endangering the health of the Australian population, at a time when Covid-19 has been consuming the country in the past two years like never before.
After slapping this monumental judge in the face, Canberra must now focus on the point. Australian Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke has the power to throw the Serbs out the door, just as he has the power to free the unfortunate hotel refugees. Djokovic has not won this match yet.
Born in Basel, Urs Walterlin has lived near Canberra, the Australian capital, since 1992. From there he reports for the SRF on Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.