Described as the troublemaker for tyrants, Thor Halvorssen is a 39-year-old founder of Human Rights Foundation-based in New York. Half-Venezuelan, half-Norwegian, Halvorssen has grown with the spirit of advocating for human rights taken from grandfather and father.
Halvorssen always says that he loves people and always fighting for the “underdogs”. The HRF chairperson, Vaclav Havel passed on 2011, and his successor Garry Kasparov- a political activist is an aggressive human rights advocate. Kaparov has suffered under Russian police as well as sentenced to two years in prison.
Halvorssen has also suffered for his cause where in 2010; police beat him for secretly recording an interview he had with Thich Quang Do, whose church had been banned, and served a 28 years house arrest.
Thor continues to criticize Latin American dictatorships of the left wing. He fights against any sort of discrimination or dictatorship together with his team members, who despite different political affiliations are under one mission.
HRF consists of 12 devoted staff members covering different corners of the world, devoted to making clear authoritarianism and assist protesters and political prisoners. Although a small fish compared some other big human rights organizations, HRF is after the tyrants and the “big fish” per se. HRF holds a yearly Oslo Freedom Forum that brings together human rights beat reporters. Some of their major donors are Google’s Sergey Brin and PayPal’s co-founder Peter Thiel.
Thor Halvorssen doubles up as a human rights activist and film producer. He started fighting for human rights as a teenager in 1989 in London by planning opposition against apartheid in South Africa. A son of former Venezuelan elite Halvorssen engages in deep and dizzying global politics on human rights, putting him on the spot of different international disputes. Moreover, his deep involvement has turned him to be among the most perplexing and polarizing people in human rights activism.
In 2005, Halvorssen founded Human Rights Foundation- a New York-based organization after his mother was killed in a political demonstration in 2004. HRF aims to liberate political prisoners, as well as promote democracy and tolerance in Latin America. HRF has succeeded in securing the release of 7 conscience prisoners; submitted amicus reporting in key global human right cases; offered evidence to the Truth Commissions, and authored two books on the role of the state and individual rights.