Thor Halvorssen is not your typical activist. He doesn’t appear on many cable news shows. He doesn’t get hyperbolic on social media from the slightest provocation. What he does do is fight tyrants and dictators all around the world.
He continues to fight for the oppresses citizenry around the globe. And he does it all with a smile on his face. “I love people!” he stated in a recent interview with the Weekly Standard.
It is that love for humanity that drives Halvorssen. While describing himself as a “classic liberal,” he has opposed dictators of all stripes. He has taken on Venezuelan strongman, Hugo Chavez, despite the admiration of certain Hollywood actors. He has also condemned Chile’s former right-wing ruler Augusto Pinochet.
The preservation and promotion of human rights are all that matters to Halvorssen. Politics be damned.
In 2005, Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), whose sole purpose is defending the rights of people all over the world. One of the largest events that Halvorssen and HRF host every year is the Oslo Freedom Forum. This annual gathering brings together activists and dissidents from around the world.
At the Forum, dissidents are given a platform to tell their story and raise awareness for their causes. They are given support (financial and otherwise) from activist and philanthropists from around the globe. PayPal co-founder Peter Theil and Sergey Brin of Google fame, are major donors to HRF.
Thor Halvorssen comes from a long line of activists. His father was imprisoned after exposing corruption in the Venezuelan government. His mother was shot while protesting the reign of Hugo Chavez. Activism is in Halvorssen’s DNA.
Along with HRF, Halvorssen will continue to oppose tyrants and dictators wherever they pop up. He has most recently set his sights on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. As more and more authoritarian governments spring up, Halvorssen will have his work cut out for him. Luckily, it is a job he relishes.