The rise of the Human Rights Foundation as a major force in the world of activists has happened alongside the popularity of the founder of the organization, Thor Halvorssen. Despite coming from a long line of Norwegian and Venezuelan political figures Halvorssen is not an everyday human rights activist who is playing at helping others; instead, Halvorssen has become a major part of the human rights activism community after appointing some of the best known activists in the world to work at the HRF.
Thor Halvorssen has spent much of his career working as a film producer, which has seen him work on a number of productions reflecting his interests in civil liberties and human rights. One of the most important film productions Halvorssen has been involved in was “Freedom’s Fury”, which explains the Hungarian uprising against socialism and a powerful dictator in 1956. Other important productions include “Hammer & Tickle”, which takes a satirical look at the propaganda and language used in the period of Soviet rule.
After studying at the University of Pennsylvania Thor Halvorssen embarked on a career in the human rights activism movement that included him working for various organizations until he founded the Human Rights Foundation in 2005. The formation of HRF led directly to the 2009 establishemnt of the Oslo Freedom Forum that is now seen as being the most important gathering for the human rights community in the world.
Halvorssen understands the issues that can arise from left wing dictators after members of his own family were imprisoned, tortured and shot by officials within the socialist Venezuelan government. The human rights activist refuses to discriminate in those he sees as committing major abuses against human rights and has developed a reputation as one of the most respected and feared activists on the planet.
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