An individual will be found to have a reasonable fear of torture if he or she credibly establishes that there is a reasonable possibility he or she would be subject to torture, as defined in the Convention Against Torture and as modified in 8 CFR § 208.18.
The definition of torture, as defined in Article 1 of the Convention and modified by the U.S. ratification document is:
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or her or a third person information or a confession punishing him or her for an act he or she or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed intimidating or coercing him or her or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to lawful sanctions.
See 8 CFR § 208.18(a) for more information on the definition of torture.
The U.S. implementation of the Convention Against Torture also requires that the individual be in the torturer’s control or custody.