Halvorssen: Human Rights First

You need to know only a little about Thor Halvorssen’s youth and young adulthood to understand how he became involved in human rights activism. His mother, Hilda Mendoza Denham was shot and wounded during a protest that started out peaceful but turned violent when Venezuela officials unexpectedly opened fire on the protestors. While she was one of twelve persons injured, one woman was killed. Additionally, when Halvorssen was a freshman in college, his dad was arrested while investigating the Medellin cartel for fraud and money laundering. He was held for nearly 3 months on trumped-up charges and nearly killed, though eventually released.

It was in 1999 that Thor became the first CEO and executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). It was that same year that he led a campaign at Lucent Technologies that was aimed at stopping China from using slave labor to make Lucent products; China is known to imprison millions of its citizens in forced labor camps producing various consumer products. He proposed that China be required to certify that slave labor was not used in fabricating any of the company’s products. This effort met with at least some success.

It was these experiences and doubtless many others that led Halvorssen to create, and helm, the Human Rights Foundation. Incorporated in 2005, the HRF stated that its mission was to adopt the same motivating principle as the original human rights movement, that is,to oppose tryranny while championing self-determination. Headquartered in New York City, political prisoner luminaries such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Harry Wu and Elie Wiesel sit, or have sat, on its International Council. Watch Video Here.

Halvorssen is a frequent critic of Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, for his nation’s imposition of the death penalty for homosexuality; he is no fan of Hugo Chavez either, citing Venezuela’s anti-Semitic practices and policies. Halvorssen even exposed the fact that celebrities Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, and Mariah Carey, to name just a few, had accepted money from dictators. Halvorssen at LinkedIn .

As a producer, Halvorssen uses the medium of film to shed light on violations of human rights the world over. The Moving Picture Institute was founded by Halvorssen and he is currently producing a film adaptation of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/troublemaker-for-tyrants/article/899824 for more .

 

 

Thor Halvorssen: A Renowned Human Rights Lawyer

Thor Halvorssen is a film producer, and human rights advocate with contributions in the areas of individual rights, public interest advocacy, public policy and pro-democracy advocacy. Thor Halvorssen founded the Oslo Freedom Forum, a yearly gathering depicted by The Economist as being a “spectacular human-rights festival that is almost becoming a human-rights version of Davos economic forum. Thor is the principal at the Human Rights Foundation. He founded the Moving Picture Institute, and he is a patron at a Czech-based Children’s Peace forum.

Halvorssen has aired his opinions in The New York Times, National Public Radio, National Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and The Washington Post. Some of the television outlets he has appeared on include BBC News, Al-Jazeera, Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor- a Fox News Channel, CNN and HBO among others. In October 2010, Thor was a speaker at the Pennsylvania University. The New York Times describes Thor Halvorssen as an advocate for the underdog as well as the powerless.

Thor began his career as a human rights lawyer while still an adolescent in 1989 by organizing opposition to the South African apartheid. Thor has a background in Norway and Venezuela. He became fully involved in individual rights after his dad’s political imprisonment in Venezuela.

In 2004 he established a Human Rights Foundation in New York after his mom got shot during a political demonstration. The foundation is committed to freeing political prisoners as well as fostering democracy and tolerance across Latin America. Since its inception, the organization has managed to provide evidence to Truth Commissions, release seven prisoners of conscience and submit amicus briefs in international human rights lawsuits.

Thor has two published books, one on individual rights and the other one on the responsibilities of the state. He has specialized in matters regarding human trafficking, slavery, dictatorships and threats to democracy.

Thor has lectured extensively on the topic of human rights. Some of the places he has taught include the Harvard Law School, the New York’s United Nations Association, the American Enterprise Institute and the New York City’s Junto.

https://www.facebook.com/thorhalvorssen for more.