Thor Halvorssen is a native of Venezuela. He was born in 1976 to his parents, Thor Hellum and Hilda Mendoza. His alma mater is the University of Pennsylvania from where he holds degrees in political science and history. He is the founder of Human Rights Foundation and Oslo Freedom Forum. Thor previously worked for Lucent Technologies and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
Thor’s Involvement in HFR
Thor founded Human Right Foundation (HFR) in 2005. Since then, he has been a fierce critic of world known dictators and dictatorial regimes. In 2007, Thor led HFR in a successful pursuit of justice for Sammartino Amauris, a critic of the Cuban and Bolivian government who had been detained in Bolivia for more than two weeks. Four years later, Thor and HFR were in the front line in advocating for the release of Liu Xiaobo and his wife, who were detained by the Chinese government. Xiaobo was a Nobel Laureate in 2010. In the same year, the Ecuadorian government led by President Correa imprisoned four journalists to three years in jail, among them Emilio Palacio, for publishing a story that rubbed the government in the wrong way. Thor was not impressed by this impunity, and so he wrote to the National Court of Justice of Ecuador, pleading with the court to reverse the decision.
Thor’s Take on Homosexuality
In 2009, the Ugandan government led by President Museveni and the Ugandan parliament passed a law banning homosexuality in the country. According to Museveni, anyone found practicing homosexuality would face a death penalty. Thor, who is a consistent critic of Museveni, wasn’t impressed by this and he has led HRF to protest against the draconian law. Thor argued that discriminating an individual by their sexuality was shameful, unacceptable, and unreasonable. According to him, all citizens have an equal right to protection from the government regardless of their sexual orientation.
Thor Halvorssen has been involved in the production of many movies. He was the executive producer of the 2006 satirical film, Hammer &Tickle. He was a producer of Indoctrinate U, a documentary that condemned discrimination in American colleges. Other notable films that Thor has produced include, among others, 2081 and The Sugar Babies.