Category Archives: HRF

Thor Halvorssen Tirelessly Dives Into Human Rights Issues

Thor Halvorssen is a dynamic man who is not afraid to confront those who do not treat people according to the rights they deserve. He is the president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF), which he founded in 2005.

This human rights activist was born in Caracas to Norwegian and Venezuelan parents; he is 39 years old. Halvorssen’s energy is contagious, and he says he love people. His favorites are the defectors, dissidents, and those who seek freedom from tyranny. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/is-this-the-face-of-a-new-global-human-rights-movement?utm_term=.hu1rbrvoK#.sgLP3Pq98

Halvorssen began fighting for those who are powerless when he was 13 years old. He organized a group in London to oppose apartheid in South Africa.

His father becoming a political prisoner in Venezuela prompted Halvorssen to become a full-time activist. He established the HRF after his mother was shot during a political protest.

In 2010, he and a cameraman interviewed Thich Quang Do, the founder of the banned Unified Buddhist Church in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The church elder had been under house arrest for 28 years. After conducting the interview, his cameraman managed to sneak out while Thor Halvorssen was accosted by Vietnamese officials. He was arrested, beaten, and detained until he convinced the authorities that he was seeking information about Buddhism.

To date, he has produced 10 documentaries such as “Hammer & Tickle,” in 2006, and “Halo of Stars,” which is in post-production and scheduled for U.S. release in 2017. In 2009, he performed in “2081” as a bomb specialist. As early as 1994, Halvorssen began acting in TV series and movies portraying himself. He has also been interviewed by several media personalities. He was the guest on Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s 2001 episode entitled, “Free Speech and Censorship.”

In May 2013, Halvorssen hosted a global human rights conference, the Oslo Freedom Forum. Activists present were from countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Belarus, and more. The conference was atypical. Instead of speeches and panels, the donors, journalists, and dissidents were invited to communicate with activists.

It appears there is an unofficial motto at the HRF. He and his organization do not simply speak of human rights, they have a reputation for getting into the thick of the situation and are not afraid to get their hands dirty doing so.

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