Thor Halvorssen has dedicated much of his life to lobbying for the rights of those without power. He has stood up to several establishments including the governments of Uganda and China. Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation in an effort to build a strong team against tyranny. He has traveled the world to speak on behalf of political prisoners. China’s usage of slave labor tactics have also been a major focus of Halvorssen’s civil rights agenda.
Thor Halvorssen comes from a legacy of fearless leaders. His father worked for the Venezuelan government has an anti-drug enforcement agent. He was arrested on an erroneous charge of terrorism while investigating the local cartel. Halvorssen’s father spent nearly three months in prison. He was beaten and tortured, but later found innocent of all charges. Thor Halvorssen’s mother was gunned down by government officers while engaging in a peaceful protest. Several other people were injured.
Halvorssen went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the Human Rights Foundation he also founded the Olson Freedom Forum. The Olsen Freedom Forum is a human rights festival. He also founded the Motion Picture Institute and the bought the Norwegian magazine known as Ny Tid.
Halvorssen was a special guest to Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2010. Liu Xiaobo had been a political prisoner in China. Halvorssen and the Human Rights Foundation lobbied for his release.