08/31/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Americans More Tolerant Of Torture Than The Chinese

OPINIONS on whether the use of torture should be prohibited appear to vary widely around the world. According to opinion polls conducted early in 2008 respondents in western European democracies such as Britain and Spain were most hostile to the idea of even some degree of use of torture, whereas residents in big but poorer countries such as Nigeria, Turkey and India seemed most willing to tolerate the idea (perhaps in these three cases because of violent domestic threats to political stability). Surprisingly, democracies are not necessarily more hostile to the practice than non-democracies. According to the polls, Americans are more willing to tolerate the use of torture than are Chinese.

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