“6 Days to Terror” yelled The Sun on a double-page spread on Saturday. “We reveal how Europe is still wide open to terror.” Its report was by a freelancer who claimed to have travelled 2,000 miles across Europe in six days without a passport, evading security checks, to demonstrate how porous the refugee trail is from Turkey to western Europe.
But the only problem with this solid-gold scoop was that the reporter, Emile Ghessen, actually did have to show his passport at various points in his trip – in fact, at all the borders. Demonstrating, therefore, how tight security was…
Here’s The Sun‘s correction in the paper.
Sun apologises for claim you could get across Europe without passport, says journalist used passport at all borders. pic.twitter.com/frbRcMPg62
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) December 8, 2015
In an article of 5th December, headlined “6 days to terror”, we published the diary of Emile Ghessen, a freelance documentary maker and former Royal Marine, who said that he had smuggled himself from Turkey to Paris without using a passport.
We have since learned that we were misled about his conduct during his journey. Contrary to what we were told, and published, Mr Ghessen used his passport to enter and leave the Croatian city of Zagreb. This has been confirmed by the Croatian authorities. We also now believe that he made use of his passport at the other border points within Europe. His story did not, therefore, demonstrate that the borders of Europe had lax controls.
We apologise for publishing misleading information. We have now changed our policy regarding the use of freelance journalists in stories such as these.
The story was taken down from The Sun‘s website, following the Croatian interior ministry pointing out that Ghessen’s passport was registered both when he entered and exited the country.
Bloody border control, spoiling all our fun.