Reckless destruction of houses and removal of belongings takes Liberlanders by surprise
MATEOS MARINA, LIBERLAND, SEPTEMBER 22 – On the morning of Thursday, September 21, a private company acting on behalf of the Croatian Forests (Hrvatske Šume d.o.o.) accompanied by police made an unannounced extraterritorial incursion into Liberland and demolished and removed Liberland property. Liberlanders living on the land were threatened with arrest if they interfered. An unspecified number of Liberlanders were arrested under the vague charges of “failure to comply with a lawful order.”
Croatian police escorted the demolition crews who committed this act of indiscriminate destruction. This assault was committed without warning and without the forest company or police issuing any reasons or justification.
Persons present were not given any time to gather their own personal belongings, much less their equipment. Thankfully, no one was injured, but our property was damaged and confiscated.
This has occurred on the International Day of Peace, of all days.
Some of our buildings and equipment that were destroyed and/or removed:
- Two well-constructed garden houses and one marina house
- One well-constructed and fully functioning field kitchen with multiple refrigeration units and stoves
- Generators and electronic equipment
- Starlink antenna and router
- Quad bike, bicycles and other transportation
- Food and other supplies
- Personal belongings
Croatian law enforcement officers and employees of Hrvatske Šume d.o.o. involved in this operation have acted unprofessionally, and have been insulting and obnoxious to our people. We asked for a written notice or report and we were told there is no report and there won’t be one.
We have documented this incident and the individuals involved with photos and video, and we are already pursuing legal action against these acts on several levels.
The settlement heroically remains on the land and is resisting these attempts at breaking their will.
Videos from today
Croatian demolition of Liberland structures goes back to September 2017, when the original hunting lodge (lovački dom) was demolished. In 2023, we established Jefferson Square in front of the old house and began excavation and rebuilding of the old lodge and its basement.
The Free Republic of Liberland was proclaimed on April 13, 2015 on this parcel of land, Gornja Siga, in accordance with international law regarding terra nullius and bona vacantia, as the land remained unclaimed by either Serbia or Croatia for over 25 years. Liberland has the ability to bring significant investment, jobs and tourism to this economically depressed region.
Our legal position supporting our claim is clear: that the territory has never been part of Croatia and falls outside of its borders. This has been confirmed in their diplomatic correspondence with Serbia as well as its complete absence in all official published maps of Croatia. The Croatian border police are duly authorized to conduct activities aimed at safeguarding both Croatia’s national boundaries and the broader Schengen borders within Liberland. We not only acknowledge this authority but also welcome it, as their efforts contribute to enhancing the overall security of our own nation.
In addition, Serbia has relinquished its authority over the territory. There are no competing claims to land in Gornja Siga other than the Free Republic of Liberland and this land has no state affiliation with Croatia or Serbia.
We seek to work with the Croatians to find a peaceful, mutually beneficial solution for our countries. Liberland officials have always acted in accordance with international law and to avoid confrontations with Croatian border police. Our position is that people of Liberland should be able to visit and live in the area without harassment or arrest. Our citizens are not building on Croatian soil, but in their own country, the Free Republic of Liberland, and we are not a threat or risk to Croatia in any way.
Liberland wishes to become a good, reliable partner with Croatia. The settlement will be rebuilt immediately. Plans for the next months include the construction of a hotel [link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEa9CQVsjik ], children’s park, adventure tours, boating, cycling and much more. We also look forward to working with the Croatian state forest company, Hrvatske Šume d.o.o., on future harmonious cooperation and to avoid conflict.
Our project aims to be one of the biggest opportunities that Croatia has to bring investment, jobs and tourism to a region that has been languishing economically for some time. We have already spent considerable funds in the local economy in Osijek-Baranja County and this can only grow as more people want to visit the area – with the approval and participation of our closest neighbors, we can develop those opportunities together.
Just some of the buildings, equipment and things the Croatians destroyed or took away: