"Release Novak" say Melbourne anti-vax protesters

Protesters on Saturday (January 15) marched through Melbourne park chanting "Free Victoria, release Novak" as others gathered outside the immigration detention hotel where Djokovic is being held.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided to cancel the Serbian superstar's visa because his presence could foster opposition to COVID-19 vaccination in Australia, court documents released after an initial hearing in the Federal Court on Saturday showed.

The tennis number one will spend his second stint in detention, after he was held for four nights before a judge on freed him on January 10 after finding a decision to cancel his visa on arrival had been unreasonable.

Djokovic's lawyers said on Friday (January 14) they would argue deportation would only further fan anti-vaccine sentiment and would be as much a threat to disorder and public health as letting him stay and exempting him from Australia's requirement that all visitors be vaccinated.

A hearing for Djokovic's appeal has been sent for Sunday (January 16).

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