Thor Halvorssen, a 39-year-old half-Norwegian and half-Venezuelan, is becoming more and more recognized as a fighter for human rights. After founding the Human Rights Foundation a decade ago, this man has been on the hunt for dictators and regimes that break human rights around the world.
In 2010, he went to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to interview Thich Quang Do, the partiarch of the Unified Buddhist Church after it was banned in that country. Mr. Halvorssen was actually arrested at that time, but was let go after convincing the Vietnamese authorities that he’s a Buddhist seeker.
He’s also known for harsh criticism of Latin American leftist dictatorships such as that of Venezuela, a country where he was born. As evident on his Facebook page, Thor Halvorssen had even enlisted the famous human rights fighter, Václav Havel of Czech Republic, who served as Human Rights Foundation’s chairman until his death in 2011. He was followed by another famous figure, the chess champion Garry Kasparov, the man who openly opposes Vladimir Putin.
The foundation has also received support from the world of big business: Google’s Sergey Brin and Paypal’s Peter Thiel are among the donors.
While many human rights advocates are leftist, Thor Halvorssen sees Socialism as a system that can potentially break human rights. Still, he supported Bernie Sanders’ failed presidential campaign. It was largely a sign of opposition to Hillary Clinton’s ties to Middle Eastern regimes. In fact, the Clinton Foundation received money from places with dictatorial regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates.
While still under 40, Thor Halvorssen has plenty of time ahead of him and plenty of fights for human rights to get involved into.