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07th Jan 2022

Djokovic held at ‘infamous prison hotel’ with maggots in food and Covid outbreaks

Callum Boyle

The conditions have been compared to those people would experience in prison

The hotel where Novak Djokovic is currently being held, while he awaits a decision on whether or not he will be deported from Australia, has come under scrutiny for its conditions and has been described as a ‘prison hotel.’

Djokovic was denied entry into the country on Wednesday due to issues with his visa after Australian Border Force officials were not satisfied with his proof of exemption as to why he hasn’t be vaccinated.

While he waits for a final decision on whether he will be deported from Australia – with a verdict due to take place on Monday – the Serb had been kept in the airport hotel overnight before being transferred to the Park Hotel in Carlton.

Unlike the usual glitz and glamour sporting stars have been accustomed too, the hotel has been the centre of several complaints over the poor conditions, as reported by inews, and has even been pinned as the reason behind the second wave of an outbreak of Covid in the state of Victoria.

The hotel has also been used to provide accommodation to asylum seekers and refugees since December 2020, with locals calling it a ‘park prison’, while also regularly protesting by writing messages on the wall of the hotel in solidarity of those who are staying there.

As recently as last month, asylum seekers and refugees currently staying in the Park Hotel took to social media to document the sub-par conditions, with one detainee showcasing a picture of maggots on the food he had ordered.

“Pls pay attention. Urgent-see this food with Maggots,” he tweeted.

“It was delivered at 5.30pm tonight as evening meal at Park prison for 34 men. Even guards agreed not edible-took it away.

“Now men have no dinner. Detained for 2yrs, now in rooms on level2, now maggots in food!”

Novak’s father, Srđan has similarly described his son’s current living conditions as a ‘prison’ and compared the treatment of the tennis world number one to Jesus’ crucifixion.

Before the hotel was used to house asylum seekers and refugees, it was used as both a quarantine facility which became known as a breeding ground for Covid infections, with a government inquiry discovering that 90 per cent of Covid cases in the state of Victoria could be traced back to the hotel.

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