In an article from the Weekly Standard, Thor Halvorssen is presented as not your run-of-the-mill human rights activist.
The 39-year-old Halvorssen doesn’t mind taking chances (or a few beatings) to shed light on wrongdoings around the globe. The founder of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) gets his tenacity honest. The half-Norwegian, half-Venezuelan swashbuckler comes from a mother who is a direct descendant of Venezuela’s first president. His father was the hand of the King of Sweden during WWII. He also has a long list of other assorted self-proclaimed troublemakers in his family including a cousin, who is being held as a political prisoner in Venezuela. His father is also serving time for revealing government corruption. Good stock, indeed.
Nothing stops Halvorssen. Nothing. His critics are amazed by all the bullets (some literally) that he’s dodged. “They all want me to shut up. But that’s not going to happen,” says Halvorssen.
Thor Halvorssen says he loves people. It’s in his blood to help individuals who cannot otherwise help themselves. He’s been standing up since the age of 13. While living in London, Thor Halvorssen organized an apartheid rally against South Africa. He continued over the years to organizing events to help release political prisoners, shed light on abuses to children and promote tolerance around the world.
Halvorssen has seen danger in his travels. He has come very close to dying for his cause. In 2010, he traveled to Vietnam to interview the head of the country’s Buddhist church, who is under house arrest.
He was able to conduct the interview with a hidden camera. It still didn’t go well. After his cameraman smuggled the interview tape out, he sustained a violent beating from authorities. Unfazed, he still continued on.