Nine Years In Detention, Yet Djokovic Was Out In Three Days.

Why is it that the world tennis number one, Novak Djokovic can be held in Australian detention for 3 days while helpless refugees are forced to stay indefinitely? 

The Djokovic saga was over within less than a week as the world watched the Australian government ultimately deport the tennis star. What also came to light was that in Melbourne’s Park Hotel, where Djokovic spent detention, is the same place other refugees have been holed up for months. 

One is Mehdi Ali, 23 – an Iranian man who has spent almost ten years in the refugee process after arriving in Australia when he was 15, seeking asylum.

“It’s been nine years and no one told us when we are going to be free, so that’s the thing. We are in indefinite detention which means I might get out today, I might get out tomorrow, I might never get out…People are suffering here – I am suffering here and I can’t handle it anymore.”

Mehdi Ali

On today’s episode of the Briefing, Mehdi Ali shares his story and Carolyn Graydon, a principal lawyer at the Asylum Seeker Resource Center, explains Australia’s unjust and complicated refugee policies that have put him and many others, in this heartbreaking position.