The second requirement is that:
2. The Person who harmed you, either: knew about your actual political opinion, or, believed you had a political opinion (imputed political opinion).
The burden here is on the asylum applicant to show this.
The third criteria for an asylum application on the basis of Political opinion is the harm or persecution requirement that underlies all asylum applications:
3. You were harmed because of your “Political opinion,” or because of the opinion you were “imputed,” or believed to have had. OR, you believe you will be harmed if forced to return to your home country because of your political opinion, or one that you’re believed to hold.
Asylum law is very complex and the Appeals’ Courts of the United States that handle asylum appeals, very often disagree on precise definitions for asylum terms such as what constitutes “Political Opinion” or what constitutes a “Particular Social Group.” One thing that all Appeals Courts must agree on however, is the fact that the asylum applicant seeking asylum on the basis of political opinion must have been harmed because of THEIR POLITICAL OPINION, not because of the opinion of the persecutor (person who harmed them).
This is because the supreme court in a very infamous 1992 case called INS v. Elias-Zacarias, declared that the persecutors political opinion is irrelevant. To summarize the sad example the court provided in this case–because of their interpretation of the asylum law, if a Nazi-style regime persecutes or harms a Jewish Individual because the Nazi regime politically believes that all Jewish people are bad, that doesn’t matter for the Jewish person seeking asylum on political opinion grounds. That unfortunate individual may well have an asylum case based on religious persecution or based on being a member of a particular social group, but they won’t have one based on political opinion because the jewish person was not harmed because of their political opinion. Rather, they were harmed because of the Nazi regime’s political opinion and the fact that they were Jewish. This can be a hard difference to understand and it is quite legalistic, but it is important that the asylum applicant can provide substantial evidence of this when making their claim. The burden will be on the applicant not the government, so it is important to think about this when petitioning for asylum.