Thirty-seven-year-old Thor Halvorssen is a major human rights activist pushing for humane treatment of people around the world. The Oslo Freedom Forum, is one place where activists meet each year, trying to further their cause. Thor a Venezuelan-Norwegian runs the forum. There were 57 countries represented at the forum.
He recently was trying to help an exiled Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng and his wife Yuan Weijing. He recommended that Chen remain close to Christian Bale, the American actor who went to China trying to free Chen. Thor has been at the heart of several international conflicts lately, making him a polarizing figure in human rights activism.
Thor’s Human Rights Foundation in New York was established to fight for rights worldwide. They help get people out of their countries when necessary, try to free political dissidents and more. They fight against oppressive regimes around the globe. The foundation focuses attention on how many governments around the world mistreat their citizens, in an attempt to bring change to the locations.
Thor Halvorssen claims to belong nowhere. He speaks four languages fluently, Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. He was born in Venezuela to Hilda Mendoza and Thor Halvorssen Sr. He has a sister and brother. His father was a senior aide to President Carlos Andres Perez Rodriguez. In 1993, his father was imprisoned for reporting wrongdoing in Venezuela. Ten years after his father’s ordeal, his mother was shot by Chavez security forces at a protest. She luckily survived. These activities pushed the younger Thor into a life of fighting for human rights.
Halvorssen is still a Venezuelan citizen but has not been back to his country for several years. He claims that he will be arrested if he returns. He refuses to talk about where he lives or what activities he is involved in because of death threats he has received.