A third of Danes think the use of torture is acceptable

Anti-torture institute: It is worrying that Danes don’t fully support a total ban

According to a survey by the research bureau A&B Analyse for the Danish anti-torture institute Dignity, an increasing number of Danes are willing to accept the use of torture, with a third of those surveyed of the opinion that torture may be used in the fight against terrorism.

It is the fourth year in a row that such a survey has been conducted and it evidences declining support for a total ban on torture. This year 67 percent thought that all torture should be banned, which represents a fall of 10 percent since 2012.

Karin Verland, the head of the Dignity, found the results worrying.

“Freedom from torture is a cornerstone of a democratic and stable society and of course it therefore worries us a lot that Danes don’t fully support a total ban,” she said.

Ineffective method of interrogation
The percentage of respondents who believe that fighting terrorism justifies the use of torture rose from 25 percent last year to 33 percent this year. But Verland sees this as a mistaken belief in the effectiveness of torture.

“That torture can be an effective means to combat terrorism or other threats is a widespread misconception,” she said.

“It works in films and crime series, but in reality experience shows that it is an extremely ineffective method of interrogation, which can be seen in the conclusion of the American Senate’s report on CIA methods of interrogation.”