It is a sad fact that even in this modern era, people in countries around the world are still being oppressed by ruthless dictators. These dictators use violence and the threat of violence to silence any opposition. People living under these dictatorships are often denied even the most basic rights. Liberty and freedom of speech are greatly restricted. The rare individuals who have the audacity to speak out against these dictators are harshly punished. These powerless people are forced to suffer in silence for years as they languish in prison. Fortunately, Thor Halvorssen is there to give these victims a voice and to fight for them.
Thor Halvorssen is a human rights activist from Venezuela. Thor has been a human rights activist since he was a teenager. In 1989, a young Thor Halvorssen joined organized opposition against apartheid in South Africa. As Thor grew older, the events in his life led him to become deeply concerned with human rights issues. Thor’s father was arrested, imprisoned and tortured on bogus charges after he started investigating corruption within the government of Venezuela. Thor worked with Amnesty International and other human rights organizations to get his father released from jail after he served 74 days of unjust imprisonment.
After his mother was shot and wounded by Venezuelan government security agents in 2004, Thor Halvorssen started the Human Rights Foundation. The Human Right Foundation is dedicated to promoting liberty and speaking out on behalf of victims of human rights abuse around the world. Thor Halvorssen and the HRF take on oppressive authoritarian regimes wherever they find them. The HRF has fought to protect human rights and free speech in countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, China and Vietnam. At least 7 political prisoners have been set free as a result of the efforts of Thor Halvorssen and the HRF.
Thor Halvorssen is also an accomplished film producer. Thor uses film as a medium to highlight human rights violations. Thor produced Hammer and Tickle, a film that shows how the Russian people used jokes and satire to express the truth when free speech was suppressed by the Soviet regime. Thor Halvorssen still works to speak out on behalf of oppressed people around the world.