Thor Halvorssen is a modern hero to some. As a human rights advocate and film producer, he has a lot of influence at his disposal, and he knows how to use it. He is the founder of Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual get-together that is essentially a human rights festival, and the president of the Human Rights Foundation. He is also involved in Children’s Peace Movement, On Own Feet, and the founder of the Moving Picture Institute.
Born in Venezuela, he is a descendent of the country’s first president Cristobal Mendoza. His father, Thor Halvorssen Hellum, served as a Venezuelan Ambassador under the Carlos Andres Perez Administration. His father was arrested in 1993 for investigating the Medellin cartel where he was tortured, beaten, and had his life threatened. Halvorssen jumped in and led the campaign to have his father released with help from Amnesty International. In 2004, Halvorssen and his family were again the victims of human rights violations when his mother, Hilda Mendoza Denham, was shot and wounded at a peaceful protest of the Venezuelan recall referendum.
With that family history, it is no surprise that Thor Halvorssen has found himself leading the charge to fight for human rights around the world. Halvorssen is an active and vibrant force, keeping vampire hours and never stilling. He carries numerous phones and laptops where he stays busy day and night. He is an avid supporter of Wickr, a platform he uses to communicate to friends and co-workers, and one he feels so safe with he has invested inn the company. Read more: Thor Halvorssen | Facebook
One of Halvorssen’s biggest missions at the moment is setting the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea free. After 70 years under totalitarian rule of the Kim family, many people have been so cut off from outside information they don’t realize how bad off they actually are. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://humanrightsfoundation.org/about/board-and-international-council/thor-halvorssen
Though there are fewer people in the country since the 1990’s when a mass famine killed 3.5 million people, people are still going hungry and roughly one third of the country is undernourished. People live in constant fear of being sent to one of the country’s prisons for minor infractions like watching a soap opera, these prisons are believed to hold roughly 200,000 people currently after thousands of people already dying in terrible conditions. Halvorssen has found these people and they are his mission.
Weather it is simply sneaking in information about the outside world, or smuggling DVD’s across the boarder, Halvorssen has a network and friends who are willing to risk their lives to help spread the word of freedom. Knowledge is power, and Thor Halvorssen is pushing to get that knowledge across the boarder into the country to wake up the citizens and let them know someone is there and willing to help.