Because Novak Djokovic is world-famous, the extreme cruelty of the Australian Government's immigration policy is getting international attention, writes Adjunct Professor George Newhouse.
The real issue here is that the Australian Constitution allows racist and discriminatory laws to be made. Historically, these generally affect Indigenous people and refugees. For once, it is affecting a wealthy and well-known sporting star.
Mr Djokovic is getting a taste of how our capricious and cruel immigration regime is enforced. There are men in detention with Djokovic who have been detained for over eight years now. The extreme power of the Australian Government to lock up aliens has its roots not only in the Constitution but also in the White Australia policy. It is embedded in our legal system.
Because the victim is world-famous, for once the extreme cruelty of the Australian Government’s policies is getting international attention.
Mr Djokovic is lucky to be able to talk to his lawyers and loved ones.
The Australian Government simply ignores international humanitarian law. In 2017, the National Justice Project had to go to the Federal Court to stop the minister for immigration from taking phones from all immigration detainees. It’s a policy designed to isolate individuals, undermine their well-being and limit their ability to effectively put their case.
People think that Australia is a friendly nation but you cannot imagine how badly refugees and asylum seekers, who have committed no crime, are treated here.
- Djokovic saga highlights plight of refugees
- Djokovic case makes Australia an international laughing stock
- Djokovic unhappy but Australia's refugees face lifelong persecution
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