Novak Djokovic ‘lured to Australia to be humiliated’, says Serbia | Serbia

Serb politicians and celebrities have described the remedy of Novak Djokovic as shameful scapegoating, because the overseas ministry in Belgrade prompt the world tennis No 1 had been “lured to Australia … to be humiliated.”

The 34-year-old champion, who was born within the Serb capital, is in detention in an immigration resort in Melbourne pending a authorized problem to Australia’s choice on Wednesday to cancel a visa permitting him to play within the Australian Open.

In an op ed for the information portal Iskra, reprinted by the pro-government tabloid Informer, the acclaimed Serbian film-maker Emir Kusturica argued Djokovic’s detention was “not only a lesson to the noble Serb”, however to everybody.

Kusturica stated the “arrest of Novak Djokovic, first among the many free, a insurgent who doesn’t need the chains of the brand new world and believes in a extra simply order” recalled the plot of a film through which distinguished residents had been arrested as a lesson to the remaining.

Supporters of Novak Djokovic protest outside the Serbian parliament in Belgrade
Supporters of Novak Djokovic protest outdoors the Serbian parliament in Belgrade on Friday. {Photograph}: Darko Vojinović/AP

Australian officers have stated the participant, who has refused to reveal his Covid vaccination standing however beforehand stated he was opposed to vaccination, was refused entry as a result of he failed to meet exemption necessities. They’ve additionally stated the participant is free to go away the nation each time he chooses.

“Hasn’t the world already turn into a jail of which barbed wire is essentially the most expressive image?” Kusturica requested. “Aren’t the punishments for many who refuse to be jabbed simply one other step by the world authorities?”

The president of the Serbian parliament, Ivica Dačić, a former prime minister whose Socialist get together of Serbia is a companion within the nation’s coalition authorities, stated Djokovic was enduring “despicable political harassment”.

Any nation on the earth “would gladly give citizenship to Mr Djokovic, not to mention let him go to for a match”, Dacic Dačić said, calling Australia’s behaviour “shameful” and the results of “political instability in that nation since elections are approaching”.

The participant’s household, who on Thursday in contrast him to Jesus and accused Australian authorities of “attempting to crucify him”, called for a mass protest in opposition to his persevering with detention on Friday, when Orthodox Christians rejoice Christmas.

“The household of Novak Djokovic calls on all followers and supporters of the most effective tennis participant on the earth, who’s in a fragile state of affairs, in entrance of the Belgrade metropolis meeting,” the household stated in a joint assertion.

“The most important Christian vacation is a chance to present the importance of the group, to ship help from Belgrade, and to present how a lot help the most effective tennis participant on the earth has in its personal nation.”

The overseas ministry stated in a press release that the Serbian public “has a powerful impression that Djokovic is a sufferer of a political sport in opposition to his will, and that he was lured to journey to Australia so as to be humiliated”.

It added: “Novak Djokovic just isn’t a legal, terrorist or unlawful migrant, however he was handled that approach by the Australian authorities, which is inflicting comprehensible indignation of his followers and residents of Serbia.”

The Serbian authorities despatched a proper protest notice to its embassy in Canberra for transmission to the Australian authorities, and the overseas minister Nemanja Starović delivered a verbal protest to Australia’s ambassador to Serbia, Daniel Emery.

The overseas ministry stated Serbia didn’t need to affect the upcoming courtroom choice however anticipated “the authorities of the nation, within the spirit of excellent bilateral relations, to enable Djokovic to spend (time) in higher lodging”.

Djokovic’s spouse, Jelena, posted a photograph of the couple embracing on a seaside to mark Orthodox Christmas, saying: “The one legislation that we must always all respect throughout each single border is love and respect for one more human being.”


Milivoje Pantovic is a producer with N1 Tv in Belgrade.

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