22 CFR § 95.1 - Definitions.

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§ 95.1 Definitions.

(a) Convention means the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, done at New York on December 10, 1984, entered into force for the United States on November 10, 1994. Definitions provided below in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section reflect the language of the Convention and understandings set forth in the United States instrument of ratification to the Convention.

(b) Torture means:

(1) 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 a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him 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.

(2) In order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from:

(i) The intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(ii) The administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(iii) The threat of imminent death; or

(iv) The threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

(3) Noncompliance with applicable legal procedural standards does not per se constitute torture.

(4) This definition of torture applies only to acts directed against persons in the offender's custody or physical control.

(5) The term “acquiescence” as used in this definition requires that the public official, prior to the activity constituting torture, have awareness of such activity and thereafter breach his or her legal responsibility to intervene to prevent such activity.

(6) The term “lawful sanctions” as used in this definition includes judicially imposed sanctions and other enforcement actions authorized by law, provided that such sanctions or actions were not adopted in order to defeat the object and purpose of the Convention to prohibit torture.

(7) Torture is an extreme form of cruel and inhuman treatment and does not include lesser forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(c) Where there are substantial grounds for believing that [a fugitive] would be in danger of being subjected to torture means if it is more likely than not that the fugitive would be tortured.

(d) Secretary means Secretary of State and includes, for purposes of this rule, the Deputy Secretary of State, by delegation.