Thor Halvorssen is one of the most prolific human rights activists right now. He is the founder of the Human Rights Foundation and he works tirelessly to help free those individuals that suffer from oppression and tyranny due to the actions of those in power or corrupt government and dictators. He began his fight by helping his own family. Both of Thor’s parents were human rights activist. His mother was shot and killed during a peaceful protest in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez’s men were to blame for the incident that occurred at a peaceful protest. He later was able to free his father when he was captured and tortured in a prison after he exposed political corruption within the Venezuelan government.
After he was able to free his father, Halvorssen began to devote all of his time and energy to helping others in similar situations all over the world. He has personally traveled to distant locales and countries to negotiate for hostages as well as rescuing them. He has almost been captured himself on more than one occasion. Thor Halvorssen has also been the key driving force behind the annual Human Rights Oslo Forum which is an annual gathering of like-minded individuals that come together for a week of forums and festivities to help promote freedom and human rights to people all over the world.
Thor is also a political contributor to several network television stations. They seek his opinion on many political issues that the world and individuals face in today’s times. He has also authored several articles in magazines and newspapers. He works continuously to voice his opinions related to world issues and has gathered a team of talented individuals to assist in the work that he has undertaken to further human rights.
The Human Rights Foundation was born in 2005 when Venezuelan-born activist Thor Halvorssen became disenchanted with the work being completed by the major human rights community organizations he felt were ignoring many of the major issues in the world. Halvorssen has developed the Human Rights Foundation to become a leading part of the activism community he explains follows the definition of human rights laid down by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and seeks to make an impact through a range of events developed to raise the profile of individual activists and the community as a whole. Thor Halvorssen LinkedIn .
Much of the work Thor Halvorssen and the small staff of just 12 at the Human Rights Foundation complete is done in secrecy as they have become known for assisting in the escape of political prisoners from restrictive regimes. As a Hollywood film producer, Thor understands the importance of creating buzz around the events the Human Rights Foundation has developed over the years; the University of Pennsylvania graduate Halvorssen has looked to use open letters as part of the major events of the Human Rights Foundation that include a 2011 event designed to halt the “Urban Outfitters” brand from using images of Che Guevara out of respect for those who died during the Cuban revolution.
Perhaps the best-known event the Human Rights Foundation has become known for is the annual Oslo Freedom Forum that has been called the most important event on the calendar for human rights activists. Thor Halvorssen himself plays a key role in creating the annual conference in Oslo where he feels the profile of many activists can be raised by the global exposure offered by this event. Individual events have also been created by Halvorssen and the Human Rights Foundation, such as the Hack North Korea event that brought together technology experts from around the world to discuss new ideas for moving information in and out of the closed borders of the communist nation.
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There are several despotic governments in this world that falsely claim to be socialist democracies. Thor Halvorssen calls these countries out directly, on their hypocrisy and level of oppression they levy against their own citizens. He says people in America correctly condemn the vicious, self-serving, tyrannical governments of Venezuela, North Korea, and some countries of Africa. However, he thinks they are mostly ignorant if Americans think all democratic socialism has proved evil. The countries that most Americans believe are socialist in structure cannot seem to see past that simple facade to the despot and his cronies pulling the levers behind the scenes. Those are not socialist governments at all, it turns out in the final analysis.
While he agrees that those countries must be reformed. They deny people there the most basic of human rights. While on a trip to South Korea, in the central city of Seoul, for a world conference on human rights, Halvorssen made clear his passionate stand for the oppressed peoples of the world. He was calling people all over the world during his days at the conference. Of course, many of those receiving these calls and texts in Europe and all of the Western Hemisphere were still in bed.
Thor Halvorssen is a tireless freedom fighter, in the fight that can actually change minds, in the press, television media, and with peaceful demonstrations. He points people to the freedom loving, but certainly socialist democratic countries of Northern Europe as examples of healthy governments. He has been trying hard and with valor to bring the kind of sane, representational, socialist democracy that is found in Sweden to his native Venezuela.
Halvorssen’s family is no stranger to the effects of a despotic, terrorizing central government. After a coupe, decades ago, the new Venezuelan government arrested, imprisoned, and tortured Thor’s father. It took a great deal of world wide humanitarian effort to secure his release. Later his mother was shot by a government goon squad while she was attending a peaceful meeting in public. She recovered, but of the 11 people shot, one did die.