2754549, Novak Djokovic being 'treated like a prisoner' by Australian authorities|
Posted by CHASE SwAyZe, Thu Jan-06-22 02:15 PM
Novak Djokovic is being "treated like a prisoner" by Australian authorities, his mother, Dijana Djokovic, told reporters during a press conference in Belgrade on Thursday.
World No. 1 Djokovic is thought to have been transferred to the Park Hotel in Melbourne after having his visa to enter the country blocked ahead of the Australian Open, according to CNN affiliates Seven Network and Nine News.
The hotel, previously used by the Australian government as a Covid-19 quarantine facility, is now being used as an Alternative Place of Detention (APOD) for refugees and asylum seekers.
His mother said that she had spoken briefly with her son on Thursday, adding that he told her he couldn't sleep.
"I feel terrible since yesterday, the last 24 hours that they are keeping him as a prisoner. It's just not fair. It's not human," said Dijana. She called his current accommodation "terrible," describing it as "just some small immigration hotel."
"It's so dirty and the food is so terrible," she added.
"The authorities don't want to give him any chance to move on to some better hotel or house that he already rented."
His brother, Djordje, described the action of the Australian authorities as a "serious diplomatic breach," recounting how communication was abruptly severed between the player and his family.
"In the first 45 minutes I think, he was communicating to the family & team, and that abruptly stopped," he said during a press conference in Belgrade on Thursday.
"He had no contact whatsoever as his phone had been taken away from him for three and a half hours."
Djokovic was eventually given back his phone and taken into another isolation room, his brother added.
After his visa was revoked, Djokovic was taken through Melbourne Airport's metal detectors and had all his belongings and suitcases taken away from, according to his brother.
"His wallet and change of clothes were taken away from him," said Djordje. "He was taken to the migrant hotel, to a dirty room and was told that all his belongings will be given back to him on his departure to Europe."