Thor Halvorssen isn’t your average human rights activist. He didn’t start protesting in college; he experienced tyranny in action when his father was thrown into a Caracas prison for exposing government corruption and his mother getting shot while attending a peaceful anti-Hugo Chávez demonstration. Half-Norwegian, half-Venezuelan, Halvorssen was raised in Venezuela, however, he was attending the University of Pennsylvania when his father was arrested.
Founder, and now president of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), Halvorssen is not known for sitting behind a desk. Beaten by Vietnamese authorities for interviewing the leader of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Halvorssen still managed to get the interview out to the public.
Thor and his modest staff take on authoritarian regimes worldwide, ignoring popular causes in democracies that other organizations cover. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/is-this-the-face-of-a-new-global-human-rights-movement?utm_term=.hu1rbrvoK#.sgLP3Pq98
People who know Thor say that he never sleeps; making calls and firing off emails in the middle of the night from one of his five phones or his three laptops.
Certainly leading the HRF and coordinating the annual Oslo Freedom Forum would be enough for most activists, but not Thor. He’s produced at least seven films and documentaries, which deal primarily with struggles against tyrannical governments.
Halvorssen also has some idiosyncrasies; he religious takes more than 30 supplements each day, which help him keep up his round-the-clock schedule.
With so many dictatorships in the world, Thor may find it difficult to sleep. He’s devoted his entire adult life to helping the oppressed in every corner of the globe, and he seems to thrive on it.