Thor Halvorssen is a 39-year-old, half-Venezuelan, and half-Norwegian, human rights advocate, film producer, Founder, and President of the New-York based Human Rights Foundation, that devotes itself to liberating political prisoners, and promoting human rights in the world.
The Human Rights Foundation has made tremendous accomplishments in line with its mission by securing the release of seven political prisoners, since its inception. The human rights foundation works towards providing adequate evidence to the truth commissions on certain civil and political human rights cases around the world.
The foundation has also managed to publish two books on rights and responsibilities of the country. Thor Halvorssen is also the founder of Oslo freedom Forum, a conference held annually, hosting human rights activists from all around the globe, and activists give speeches.
Thor Halvorssen’s mother is a descendant of the first president of Venezuela, Cristobol Mandoza, who was also a descendant of Simon Bolivar, the military commander, who led Latin America to independence.
Thor has experienced the impacts of his activism work first-hand, with his mother shot dead in a demonstration against Hugo Chavez, and his father subjected to severe torture in a prison at Caracas for exposing government corruption deals, while he worked at Venezuela drug czar. Leopoldo Lopez, a cousin of Thor, is still serving as a political prisoner in a jail in Venezuela, for challenging the Chavista regime.
Thor had employed Vaclav Havel as the chairman of Human Rights Foundation (HRF), until his death in 2011. Thor then employed Garry Kasparov, a political activist, and a Russian, Chess Master, to replace Vaclav as chairman of HRF.
The position of Chairman was not ceremonial as Garry Kasparov would eventually come to witness in 2012. He was physically abused by the Russian authorities in a country that staged a demonstration against the Riot verdict.
The Oslo Freedom forum has now become a signature platform for the Human Rights Foundation, bringing together human activists, and donors. The foundation has 12 modest staff members, who cover the globe and work to shine a light on civil and political human rights violation issues across the world.