Monday, January 10, 2022
Breaking News! An Australian court granted Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic his visa appeal, which he filed after the government rejected his entry papers over an allegedly inadmissible medical vaccine exemption. The judge’s decision reverses the government’s cancellation of his visa and allows the star to compete in the 2022 Australian Open next week, where he will defend his 2021 title.
Djokovic did not have a COVID vaccination but argued that he had immunity from prior infection that qualified as a legitimate medical exemption to the vaccination requirement. He claimed he tested positive, court documents show, but did not experience symptoms. Australian medical authorities ruled that a temporary pass of entry can be provided to applicants who had contracted the virus within six months.
For more details, click the link above.
UPDATE (Jan. 11): Sophie McNeill for Human Rights Watch in "Djokovic Case Highlights Australia’s Cruel Immigration Policies" comments on the implications of the Djokovic ruling:
"While the world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, spent four nights detained at an immigration hotel in Melbourne before a judge ordered his release, his case became a jolting reminder of Australia’s abusive treatment of refugees and asylum seekers who have been held in the country’s immigration detention system for years.
Since July 2013 the Australian government has forcibly transferred more than 3,000 asylum seekers and refugees to offshore camps in the countries of Papua New Guinea and Nauru, where they suffered severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and medical neglect. The human toll of these cruel policies has been huge. Children in offshore camps, whom a team of pediatricians described as among the most traumatized they had ever seen, stopped speaking and wanted to end their lives."