Thor Halvorsen is the president of the New York based Human Rights Foundation or HRF. Thor’s Human Rights Foundation is mainly concerned with the day to day activities of the world’s left-wing dictatorships and other governments who only seem bent on crushing the freedoms of their citizenry.
Since over half of the world’s countries fit this description, the work he is involved in seems almost endless. The reasons that Thor became interested in this work is itself a story all its own
Thor is Half Norwegian and half Venezuelan and he is descended from a mixed array of adventurers and assorted heads of state. One of his grandfathers was the Norwegian king’s consul in Venezuela during World War II. While in that position he diverted all of Norway’s merchant fleet to Venezuelan ports to keep the vessels out of German hands.
His mother is descended from Simón Bolívar, the statesman and military leader who helped win Latin America’s independence from Spain. It was under this family history and influence that Thor developed his deep interest and passion for human rights and individual liberty. It is this same passion that also drives the Human Rights Foundation.
One of the things he is vocally proud of is his love of people. The people he loves the most, though, are the defectors, dissidents, and the trouble makers that are constantly standing up against those governments that only want to dish out tyranny and repression to their citizens.
As an example of this, Thor tapped Garry Kasparov to serve as the chairman of the Human Right Foundation. This was done in part because Kasparov was an aggressive vocal dissident of Vladimir Putin who he viewed as a thug. This showed Thor that he and Kasparov were two birds of a feather.
But don’t think for a minute that Thor Halvorssen lets others do all the work because he has also been on the front lines for the cause. In 2010, he and a cameraman flew to Ho Chi Minh City to interview the founder of Vietnam’s Buddhist Church.
The only problem was that the church had been banned and its leader had spent 28 years under house arrest. Thor and his cameraman, however, succeeded in sneaking in and taping an interview with him. According to Cruchbase and Weekly Standard, on the way out, Thor was arrested and detained until he convinced the police that he was only a seeker of the Buddha.