Croatia’s Unlawful Raids on Liberland

Croatia’s Unlawful Raids on Liberland

By Liberland TV | Liberland TV | 17 Mar 2024

But what they call "trash" is actually our settling gear — perfectly good power generators, internet equipment, solar panels, kitchens with washing machines, and even locked bikes they broke open. They even took a whole houseboat, the Swan, from us.

Croatia’s Law on Forestry, NN 68/2018, henceforth Law on Forestry, states in its Art. 45, paragraphs 3 and 4 :

(3) It is forbidden to dispose of waste in the forest.

(4) Forest owners and other legal entities that use forests owned by the Republic of Croatia are obliged to remove waste from the forest and have the right to collect the costs incurred in connection with these activities from the person who deposited this waste in the forest and on forest land.

Legal terms should be understood in their general meaning. What is waste disposal? It is the abandonment of property with the intention of never seeing it again, giving it up and letting it be. How then does Hrvatske Šume justify taking possessions that are clearly valued and guarded by their owners, even in the face of explicit objections and recorded evidence?

This situation makes you wonder. How is it that Hrvatske Šume d.o.o. feels it has the right to do this? They point to a decision made by the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, which basically says they're in charge of managing the forest area around us for ten years, starting in 2019. But if you dive into the legal documents they're using as their shield, things don't quite add up.

The supposed legality of the decision to let Hrvatske Šume d.o.o. manage an area outside of Croatia is based on a spatial plan, namely the Forest Management Plan.

Spatial plans are instruments described in the Croatian Spatial Planning and Construction Act, NN 153/13. This law as also the entire spatial planning is made under the important condition that “Spatial planning ensures the conditions for the use (management), protection and management of the land area (lit. prostorom, “(of) space”) of the Republic of Croatia and the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Croatia” (exclusive economic zone is a maritime law term, not applicable on the land and the river).

As to the Forest Management Plan, Art. 29 paragraph 1 of the Law on Forestry states: The Forest Management Plan (e.g. the spatial plan applicable to forests), its renewal or revision is approved by the Ministry by decision, for forests and forest lands owned by the Republic of Croatia at the proposal of a public forest owner, institution or legal entity, and for forests of private forest owners at the proposal of the Service.

It is this article and paragraph (Art. 29 paragraph 1 of the Law on Forestry) to which the decision we are examining specifically refers, hence we see that, given that it is a decision of the Ministry, it is meant exclusively for Republic of Croatia-owned forests.

Here's where it gets interesting: those laws say you can only make such plans for land that Croatia owns. But here's the catch—Gornja Siga, where we are in Liberland, isn't owned by Croatia. This isn't just us talking; it's a fact that's widely known and even accepted by the Republic of Croatia’s own government. You can check their own land registry online and see for yourself; Liberland-Gornja Siga isn't listed as Croatian land.

Indeed, the Decision doesn’t even mention Gornja Siga by name, because that would be legally impossible. The people drafting this Decision evidently understood that mentioning it would be a legal impossibility or simply omitted it since it was clear to them that they can’t mandate management of something that Croatia doesn’t own.

This detail is a game-changer because the law is clear: if Croatia doesn't own the land, then no forestry management plan should be covering it. It's like making plans for your neighbour's garden without asking them. So, any permission Hrvatske šume d.o.o. thinks it has to manage forests here in Liberland doesn't hold water legally. It's as if that permission never existed in the first place.

So, what does this all mean? It means that not only is Hrvatske Šume d.o.o.'s so-called "trash removal" as such not okay - they aren’t removing disposed waste, but are stealing owned property -, but their entire presence and everything they've been doing here is on shaky ground, legally speaking. They really shouldn't be here at all.

We're not just going to sit back and accept this. Armed with this information, we're gearing up to challenge these actions and stand up for Liberland's rights. The road ahead might be tough, but we're committed to making sure our voice is heard and our community is protected. The quest for justice and our right to live peacefully in Liberland is just getting started.


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