Out of the 35,000 people convicted of terrorism globally since 9/11, nearly 20,000 were in Turkey and China where it's largely assumed they were railroaded with false charges.
AP IMPACT: 35,000 worldwide convicted for terror - Yahoo! News
The AP used freedom of information queries, law enforcement data and hundreds of interviews to identify 119,044 anti-terror arrests and 35,117 convictions in 66 countries, accounting for 70 percent of the world's population. The actual numbers undoubtedly run higher because some countries refused to provide information.
That included 2,934 arrests and 2,568 convictions in the United States, which led the war on terror — eight times more than in the decade before.
The investigation also showed:
• More than half the convictions came from two countries accused of using anti-terror laws to crack down on dissent, Turkey and China. Turkey alone accounted for a third of all convictions, with 12,897.
• The range of people in jail reflects the dozens of ways different countries define a terrorist. China has arrested more than 7,000 people under a definition that counts terrorism as one of Three Evils, along with separatism and extremism.
• The effectiveness of anti-terror prosecutions varies widely. Pakistan registered the steepest increase in terror arrests in recent years, yet terror attacks are still on the rise. But in Spain, the armed Basque separatist group ETA has not planted a fatal bomb in two years.
• Anti-terror laws can backfire. Authoritarian governments in the Middle East used anti-terror laws broadly, only to face a backlash in the Arab Spring.
"There's been a recognition all around the world that terrorism really does pose a greater threat to society," said John Bellinger, former legal adviser to the U.S. State Department. "Also, more authoritarian countries are using the real threat of terrorism as an excuse and a cover to crack down in ways that are abusive of human rights."