Thor Halvorson created the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) in 2005. He is a descendant of Venezuelan and Norwegian politicians and rulers. Following in the beliefs of his ancestors, Halvorson strongly believes and advocates for human rights and individual liberties.
Thor’s family has had first-hand experiences with violations of human rights. His father was tortured in prison, his mother was shot during a demonstration, and his cousin is currently a political prisoner in Venezuela. Thor, however, has not let his family’s negative experiences turn his outlook on people. He loves people, especially those who are considered “troublemakers” for standing up to government overstep and violations. Read more: Thor Halvorssen | Facebook
Garry Kasparov, chairman of HRF, is a Russian political activist. Kasparov has also spent time fighting for what he feels is right, including being beaten by Russian police for protesting. Thor has also taken a beating for his cause. After interviewing the leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, who had spent 28 years under house arrest, Vietnamese authorities arrested and detained him. He was set free after convincing police he was seeking religion.
Halvorssen is viewed as having right-wing beliefs by some, in part due to his continued negative opinions of left-wing dictatorships as well as receiving funding from conservative donors. He, however, strongly denies being a conservative and claims he is a “classical liberal.” He has criticized dictators and tyrants on both sides of the political spectrum.
Halverson doesn’t take political affiliation into consideration when adding to his team; all that matters to him is that they have the same goal of ending tyranny in the world. HRF is a team of only 12 individuals, who spend their days pointing out dictatorship and fighting for political prisoners. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: http://www.forbes.com/sites/thorhalvorssen/
Thor found that the majority of other human-rights organizations resources are spent to fight injustices in the United States, and only a small percentage of those resources on true authoritarianism.
HRF holds the Oslo Freedom Forum every year, bringing both well-known human-rights reporters and activists as well as unknown freedom fighters together.
Thor Halvorssen was born in Venezuela and raised in Caracas. His mother was a descendant of Cristobal Mendoza and a relative of Simon Bolivar, Venezuela’s first two presidents. His father was a Venezuelan Ambassador for anti-Narcotic Affairs.
According to Crunchbase, Thor Halvorssen fights dictatorships, human trafficking, and slavery. He was the executive director and chief executive officer of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education until stepping down in 2004 to create HRF. As the president of HRF, he has fought for the release of political prisoners and advocated for human rights.