Thor Halvorssen has no tolerance for dictators. As the head of the Human Rights Foundation, Halvorssen and his small staff have taken it upon themselves to not only expose the crimes and abuses of these leaders, but try and help the people they oppress. HRF does not only do this with letter writing campaigns and media interviews. They also do it through direct action.
One of Halvorssen’s major targets has been North Korea under the iron-fisted control of Kim Jung-un. In a country where knowledge of the outside world is forbidden, Halvorssen and his allies have launched balloons across the border carrying DVDs, flashdrives, and pieces of information for its citizens. This has enraged Kim to the point he threatened to send assassins after Halvorssen during one of his visits to Seoul. He has also been beaten by Vietnamese authorities for interviewing a dissident under house arrest, yet still managed to get a recording of the interview out of the country. Another target for Thor is Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic considered one of the most oppressive countries in the world. He said a Washington-based ally of President Nursultan Nazarbayev threatened to sue the Human Rights Foundation if they did not stop its criticism of him. Watch Video Here .
Thor Halvorssen is half-Norwegian, half-Venezuelan. He grew up in Caracas, where his father, a government official, was imprisoned for trying to expose government corruption. His mother was shot and wounded during a demonstration against the late president Hugo Chavez. Halvorssen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to serve as chief executive officer of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He formed HRF in 2004 and founded the Oslo Freedom Forum in 2009.