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Protest mars Australian Open final

Melbourne: Two activists were arrested yesterday after invading centre court during the Australian Open men's final, unfurling a banner protesting against the treatment of refugees.

A political protester is taken away from the Rod Laver Arena by a security guard. Pic/PTI
A political protester is taken away from the Rod Laver Arena by a security guard. Pic/PTI 

Security officials quickly encircled Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray when the women jumped on court during a changeover in the second set with the Serbian world number one leading 7-6 (7/5), 4-3. He went on to win in four sets.

A white banner draped over advertising hoardings on the side of the court on Rod Laver Arena read, "Australia Open for Refugees #shutdownmanus."

Out you go...
The two were taken from the court by security officials with at least four others, wearing Australia Open Refugee T-shirts, led from the grandstands before play resumed after five minutes.

Tournament organisers later said the pair were arrested after causing "minimal disruption" although it was not clear whether they had been charged with any offence.
Several dignitaries were in the crowd, including tennis legends Margaret Court and Rod Laver.

Australia has adopted a hardline policy against asylum-seekers arriving by boat, which has frequently sparked criticism.

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