Liberland, also known as the Free Republic of Liberland, is a micronation in Southeast Europe claiming an uninhabited parcel of disputed land on the western bank of the Danube, between Croatia and Serbia (locally known as Gornja Siga). It was proclaimed on 13 April 2015 by the Czech right-libertarian politician and activist Vít Jedlička.

The official website of Liberland states that the nation was created in the wake of the ongoing Croatia–Serbia border dispute. According to Jedlička, this dispute resulted in a plot of land west of the Danube that was not claimed by either side.

The parcel of land in question is 7 km2 (2.7 sq mi) in area, roughly the same size as Gibraltar. It has been administered by Croatia since the Croatian War of Independence. Liberland has no diplomatic recognition from any recognized nation. The land lacks infrastructure and lies on the floodplain of the Danube.

The territory claimed by Liberland is the largest green-coloured land parcel, marked as "Siga" on the map. Due to differences in the border definitions, the yellow-coloured parts to the east are claimed by both Serbia and Croatia. Croatia asserts that the green parts are part of Serbia, but Serbia does not claim them. This led Jedlička to assert that the green parts have remained unclaimed by both sides.

The flag raising in Gornja Siga was performed by Vít Jedlička and some of his associates on the same day the republic was proclaimed.[1][2] Jedlička is a member of the Czech Party of Free Citizens, which bases its values on the classical liberal ideology.[3]

Jedlička stated that no nation claims the land as its own and he therefore could claim it using the terra nullius doctrine. The border, he argued, was defined in accordance with Croatian and Serbian border claims and did not interfere with any other state's sovereignty.[4] Jedlička said in April 2015 that an official diplomatic note would be sent to both Croatia and Serbia, and later to all other states, with a formal request for international recognition.[4]

On 18 December 2015, Jedlička held an event at which he presented the first provisional government of Liberland and its ministers of finance, foreign affairs, interior and justice as well as two vice presidents.[5]


Croatian authorities have frequently blocked access to the area since the beginning of May 2015.[6][7]

In May 2015, Vít Jedlička and his translator Sven Sambunjak were briefly detained by Croatian police after making an attempt to cross the border. Jedlička spent one night in detention and then was convicted and ordered to pay a fine for illegal crossing of the Croatian border[8] but appealed the verdict. He claimed that there were at least three Liberland citizens inside the area, who came from Switzerland.[9][10][11][12] Later that month, Vít Jedlička was detained again.[13] Initially, reporters were able to enter the area with Jedlička[14] but subsequently they were also denied entry, including journalists from the Serbian public broadcast service Radio Television of Vojvodina,[15] and from the Bosnian newspaper Dnevni avaz.[16]

The detained were from various countries, including the Republic of Ireland, Germany, Denmark, and the United States.[7] Croatian police have continued detaining people, including those that entered the area by boat (via an international waterway).[17][18][19] One of them, Danish activist Ulrik Grøssel Haagensen, was placed in house arrest for 5 days before being sentenced to 15 days of prison, triggering some protests in Denmark.[20][21]

In May 2016, several appeals court decisions from Croatia were published. The court upheld that the crossings from Croatia were illegal, but found the convictions for crossings from Serbia improper. The court said that the lower court committed "a fundamental breach of misdemeanour proceedings" and "essential procedural violations". It further ruled that "the facts were incorrectly and incompletely established [by the prosecutor] which could lead to misapplication of substantive law". A retrial was ordered in 6 of the 7 appeals. The lower court is required to determine the location of the border and the border crossing.[22]

In 2022, the American travel videographer Drew Binsky visited Liberland's "Floating Man" summer festival in Serbia. Together with some other attendants, he made an attempt to enter the area claimed by Liberland, using a boat from the Serbian side of the Danube. The group was intercepted by Croatian police and ordered to return.[23]

^ Koulová, Zuzana (15 April 2015). "On to myslí vážně! Vít Jedlička, zakladatel nového státu Liberland, promluvil. Zavádí elektřinu, internet, všechno. A lidé se k němu hrnou". Parlamentní Listy (in Czech). Retrieved 15 April 2015. Podporu vyjádřila spousta straníků, ale i lidé napříč politickým spektrem České republiky. Gratulace přijímám od členů ODS i Pirátů. ^ CZ: Liberland (video) (in Czech). Medium Europe. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. ^ Cite error: The named reference novinky-1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b "Čeh proglasio državu između Srbije i Hrvatske" (in Serbian). B92. BETA. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015. ^ "(EXCLUSIVE) President Vít Jedlička of Free Republic of Liberland has presented first members of government". (in Serbian). Retrieved 3 September 2021. ^ "Police in the Balkans block inauguration of Europe's new "mini-state"". Associated Press. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. ^ a b Ristić, Borislav (11 May 2015). "Putovanje u Liberland zasad stoji 2400 kuna – tolika je kazna za ilegalni prijelaz granice" (in Croatian). Večernji List. Retrieved 12 May 2015. ^ Getto, Ivica (11 May 2015). "Osnivač Liberlanda kažnjen s 2400 kuna za ilegalni prelazak hrvatske granice" (in Croatian). Glas Slavonije. Retrieved 11 May 2015. ^ Wirnitzer, Jan (11 May 2015). "Jedličkova bitva u Moháče. Všichni nám tu fandí, říká tvůrce Liberlandu" (in Czech). iDnes. Retrieved 24 May 2015. ^ Ristić, Borislav (9 May 2015). "Vid Jedlička uhićen nakon ulaska na teritorij Liberlanda" (in Croatian). Večernji List. Retrieved 10 May 2015. ^ Třeček, Čeněk; Sedlářová, Barbora (10 May 2015). "Chorvatsko zatklo "prezidenta" Liberlandu. Bylo to přátelské, tvrdí Čech" (in Czech). iDnes. Retrieved 10 May 2015. ^ Hayden, Sally (11 May 2015). "President of Liberland Arrested for Trespassing into His Own Self-Declared Country". Vice News. Retrieved 11 May 2015. ^ "Croatia: Liberland's president arrested again". inSerbia. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. ^ Cite error: The named reference radimpanenka was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Spasojević, Vesna (17 April 2015). "Liberlend, zemlja koje – nema" (in Serbian). Radio Televizija Vojvodine. Retrieved 18 April 2015. ^ Trako, Evelin (26 April 2015). "Potraga Za Liberlandom Reporteri "Avaza" na ničijoj zemlji između Srbije i Hrvatske" (in Bosnian). Dnevni Avaz. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2015.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ^ "Igrali odbojku na 'plaži u Liberlandu' pa ih uhitila hrvatska policija". 13 June 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015. ^ Bradarić, Branimir (20 June 2015). "Liberland optužuje Hrvatsku za invaziju" (in Croatian). Večernji List. Retrieved 20 June 2015. ^ Hayden, Sally (19 June 2015). "Liberland Accuses Croatia of Invasion and Releases Video of 'Citizen' Abduction". Vice. Retrieved 20 June 2015. ^ Fax: 33141000, Rådhuspladsen 37 1785 København V. Telefon: 33111313 (23 June 2015). "Dansk mand anholdt efter indtrængen i 'Ingenmandsland'". ^ "Hvorfor sidder danske Ulrik i et mørkt fangehul på Balkan?". Folkets. ^ "Important Step to Statehood? Croatia Appeals Court Rules in Favour of Liberland". Retrieved 3 September 2021. ^ Drew Binsky (30 October 2022). The Country That Doesn't Yet Exist (Liberland) (video).
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