Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), is not your typical political activist. He doesn’t lean to the left or the right. His cause is a simple one; fighting for human rights around the world. Because of his non-political stand he has critics and enemies from both sides of the political spectrum.
Liberals view Halvorssen as suspect because he once accepted donations from the conservative Bradley Foundation and he does not spend time decrying the injustices that are going on in America. He spends his efforts taking on real dictators like Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong Un.
By the same token, conservatives tend to view him as just another liberal do-goodnick hell bent on destroying capitalism. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between.
Halvorssen views himself as a “classic liberal” and his only concern is the rights of citizens living under repressive regimes. He and HRF are focused on ridding the world of tyranny.
That is a lofty goal for the New York-based foundation but Halvorssen comes from a long line of political activists. His father worked for the Venezuelan government and was imprisoned and tortured for exposing government corruption. Time.com mentions that his mother was shot while attending a demonstration against Hugo Chavez, the Venezuela strongman.
The Human Rights Foundation was launched in 2005 and holds an annual human rights conference called the Oslo Freedom Forum. Help at the same hotel where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, the conference has become the can’t miss event for human rights activists. There, dissidents are given a platform to tell their story and make connections with other activists to gain support for their cause.
Thor Halvorssen has a tough road ahead of him but he and HRF are fighting to make the entire world a better place.
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