“When you see evil organizing… the moment it begins, you have to fight it with all your might. Indifference is not an option.” — Thor Halvorssen
Born in 1976, Thor Halvorssen is the president of the Human Rights Foundation and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum. Halvorssen is an active communicator who has written for several major newspapers, spoken on television news outlets, and is an accomplished film producer.
Halvorssen’s passion for human rights is deeply personal.
Halvorssen witnessed basic human rights violations first hand in 1993, when his father was falsely accused of detonating a car bomb in Venezuela. As a result, Halvorssen’s father was imprisoned. Halvorssen, a college student at the time, and his uncle began advocating for his father. Together, they contacted anyone they thought might be able to help. They reached out to Amnesty International, ambassadors, and a host of other government officials. The resulting publicity soon led to his father’s release from prison.
During the remainder of his college career at the University of Pennsylvania, Halvorssen became a judicial advisor for students rights. He worked tirelessly to protect due process, civil rights, and the freedom of speech for his fellow students.
Halvorssen dedicated his life to the full-time fight for human rights after his mother was shot in 2004 while protesting a corrupt election in Venezuela.
He believes in freedom: freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, freedom of speech, freedom from arbitrary detainment, freedom to participate in your own government, and freedom of religion. In his global fight to protect these freedoms, Thor Halvorssen has learned that the most effective champions of human rights are those who have personally experienced the horrors of abuse at the hands of evil, and he partners with these champions to bring about change.
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