Indians favour torture of terrorists, world does not

June 25th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, June 25 (IANS) A majority of Indians favour the use of torture on terrorists to help save innocent lives, going against the world’s majority, who disapprove of torture methods in all cases, a public opinion poll in 19 countries has found. In India, 59 percent want an exception made for terrorists, that is more than the 54 percent in Nigeria and 51 percent in Turkey, the two other countries where majorities favour torture of terrorists, according to the survey of over 19,000 respondents.

The report said that in 14 of the 19 nations surveyed, a clear majority of people favoured a prohibition against torture. On an average, across all nations polled, 57 percent of the public opted for unequivocal rules against torture.

The survey report was presented at the United Nations ahead of the International Victims of Torture Day June 26 and as part of this year’s 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provided for the first international prohibition of torture.

“These discussions take place at a moment when human rights are very much under fire internationally for a range of reasons - some of them related to the ascendancy of unhelpful notions of security and counter terrorism, others related to destructive approaches to global economics,” said Craig Mokhiber of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Among all nations polled in both 2006 and 2008, India also recorded the largest increase in support of making exceptions for torture to curb terrorism - from 32 percent two years ago to 59 percent now.

In the US, victim of the worst ever single terrorist strike of 9/11, 53 percent people agreed that torture should be unequivocally abolished, but 44 percent favoured making an exception when dealing with terrorists. is a consortium of 22 research centres studying public opinion on international issues.

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