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Torture Statistics: World Public Opinion on Torture

Four countries included in both surveys show dramatic increases in support for allowing the torture of terrorists: India (from 32% to 59%), Nigeria (39% to 54%), Turkey (24% to 51%), and South Korea (31% to 51%). Substantial increases also occurred in Egypt (25% to 46%) and the United States (36% to 44%).

Why has support for allowing the torture of potential terrorists increased in certain countries since 2006? Civilians from three of the six have suffered terrorist attacks over the past year and a half: India has endured attacks attributed to Kashmiri separatists and Turkey has been plagued by Kurdish rebels. South Koreans underwent a six-week hostage drama in July and August 2007 after Taliban rebels in Afghanistan kidnapped 23 Christian volunteers and then executed two of them. And the US public receives a steady stream of news reports about terrorist attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.

*This background photo depicts Vietnam War protesters as they marched to the Capitol in April 1971.*