Sunday, September 4, 2011
Associated Press announced their findings of an in depth investigation into worldwide terror arrests and convictions. Their study concluded that about 30% of arrests ended in convictions. However, the arrests of those who were indicted for actual terror events was remarkably low compared to those arrested for political dissent:
At least 35,000 people worldwide have been convicted as terrorists in the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. But while some bombed hotels or blew up buses, others were put behind bars for waving a political sign or blogging about a protest.
In the first tally ever done of global anti-terror arrests and convictions, The Associated Press documented a surge in prosecutions under new or toughened anti-terror laws, often passed at the urging and with the funding of the West. Before 9/11, just a few hundred people were convicted of terrorism each year.
The sheer volume of convictions, along with almost 120,000 arrests, shows how a keen global awareness of terrorism has seeped into societies, and how the war against it is shifting to the courts. But it also suggests that dozens of countries are using the fight against terrorism to curb dissent and throw political opponents in jail.