You will not see Thor Halvorssen on many of the cable news shows. He does not show up at tragedies for photo ops. As president of the Human Rights Foundation, Halvorssen spends his days doing all he can to topple dictators and tyrants all around the world. Read more: Thor Halvorssen | Facebook
In 2010 he and a cameraman traveled to Vietnam in order to interview Thich Quang Do, a leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. The church is banned in that country and Do had been under house arrest for 28 years. This is just the type of government oppression that Halvorssen and HRF detest.
After the interview was over, Thai police beat and arrested Halvorssen. He was jailed and was only released when he convinced authorities that he was a Buddhist seeking knowledge in their fine country. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/thor-halvorssen#/entity
This cycle of being on the wrong end of polis brutality and being thrown in jail is a familiar one in Halvorssen’s family. His father was thrown in a Venezuelan prison and tortured after he exposed government corruption in that country. His mother was shot when she attended an anti-Higo Chavez demonstration.
Despite the hardship and struggle that he has experienced, Halvorssen remains entirely upbeat. “I love people,” he says.
There are many people, however, who do not like Thor Halvorssen, and some of them are not dictators. He is routinely viewed with skepticism from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Because Halvorssen does not let his politics get in the way of his mission, the establishments on both sides do not know what to make of him.
Instead of letting his political views determine where his efforts go (he describes himself as a “classic liberal”) tackles human rights violations around the globe, no matter which countries are aligned with the ruler of that country.
With the number of dictators and strongmen coming into power around the world, Halvorssen will have his work cut out for him. Luckily, he is up to the task.