Standing up against tyranny is something Thor Halvorssen knows all about and does quite eloquently. The founder of the New York City-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) will not stay silent when it comes to tyrants who mess with a person’s human rights and individual liberty.
The University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business graduate spoke recently with the WeeklyStandard.com to talk about HRF and how he labels himself in a world of political obsession.
Thor Halvorssen comes from a background steeped in human rights activism. His father was tortured in a Venezuelan prison after revealing government corruption in his role as the country’s drug czar. His mother was shot during an anti-Hugo Chavez demonstration, and his first cousin is jailed at the moment as a political prisoner in Venezuela.
Thor Halvorssenis a take action kind of man, holding respect for the dissidents and defectors of the world who make life difficult for regimes that control a person’s every move. He’s been held against his will and beaten in the name of freedom, most famously for an incident occurring in 2010, when Thor Halvorssen and a cameraman had traveled to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The pair were there to interview and record moments with ThichQuang Do, the head of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. His church had been banned, and Mr. Quang Do held under house arrest for 28 years.
Thor Halvorssen says he had sneaked into the monastery and procured the taped interview. On their way out, he and his cameraman were discovered and Thor Halvorssen detained. Luckily, the cameraman slipped out a side door with the video card safely hidden. Meantime, Vietnamese authorities allegedly beat Thor Halvorssen black and blue, only allowing him to leave when he convinced them he was there seeking to become a Buddhist.
Politically-speaking, many have tried to define Thor Halvorssen as a right winger, but the HRF founder sees himself differently. Thor Halvorssen says he’s a “classical liberal” in the John Stuart Mill tradition. Mill has often been called, “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century.”
Thor Halvorssen does not operate within a particular time as he works during odd hours. Halvorssen is the president of Human Rights Foundation that is based in New York. The 39-year-old human rights champion opened his company in 2005. The half Venezuela and half Norwegian citizen with a perfect American English accent has a descent from a family of leaders and heads of states.
His family is made of leaders and has a history of fighting for human rights as seen by their interference in the Nazi activities during the oppression time. His maternal side is also rich in leadership seeing as to how his mother is a descendant of the first Venezuelan president. The rich family foundation in which Mr Thor grew paved the way for his involvement in human rights. In fact, in all discussions, this issue is a priority as far as he is concerned.
However, there is a different kind of human rights activist. He does not subscribe to the ordinary sad-faced activism that is common. For him, activism stems from his love for people especially the descents and political defectors. The title and position that Thor holds today are not ceremonial, as two of his predecessors have died. He has been a victim of beatings because of what they stand and fight for. Thor Halvorssen on Facebook.
About Thor Halvorssen
In 2010, for example, he and his camera sneaked into the monastery of the patriarch leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam that was put under house arrest for 28 years. This move attracted a hefty penalty when Thor was arrested by the Vietnam police until he was able to convince them that he was a Buddhist pursue.
Thor Halvorssen remains one of the top influential people when it comes to individuals having rights and executing them. Thor Halvorssen is the head of Human Rights Foundation. This foundation got its start in the early 2000’s.
Mr Halvorssen had some good jobs before becoming head of the Human Rights Foundation. However, he did not take this new position because he needed the money. He took this position because he wanted to help people within his local area. Without pride, Halvorssen testified that he could be making more money, but he wanted to become a servant to the people. He doesn’t even believe he is worthy of having such a position, regardless of the pay. He is just happy that he has the opportunity to serve the public.
Halvorssen went through many different issues as a child. He saw his parents face race riots and watched them have their rights revoked right before his eyes. He has also observed political powers switch hands with the promise of change, but there was none. This is when Thor Halvorssen made the decision to devote his life to serving people that have had their rights taken away from them. Click here to know more.
Halvorssen was recently asked why type of political party he supports. Reporters asked him this upon finding out that majority of his views are conservative. Thor Halvorssen told the press that his world views will remain the same regardless of the position his holds. He further told the press that he will always be for the people. Halvorssen testified that his views of the world disappear when a person’s rights are taken away.
Many individuals are happy to see Thor in this high position within the Human Rights Foundation. There are many supports of this foundation; these supporters consist of famous individuals and even world leaders. All of these supporters testified that they believe change is on the rise now that Halvorssen is in office. These individuals also stated that they have seen nothing but corruption the past several years within the Human Rights Organization. This is why they did not hesitate to elect someone new for the office of president of the Human Right Foundation.
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