Thor Halvorssen is a 39-year-old human rights advocate and produces films. He is of Norwegian and Venezuelan descent and was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Raised in a wealthy family which had a driver, butler, cook, bodyguard, and other servants he was always taught to respect those who worked for him. Thor went to the University of Pennsylvania, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and has degrees in Political Science and History.
Advocacy for Thor began in 1989 in London by organizing opposition to South African apartheid. In 1999 Thor became the CEO and executive director of FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) a civil liberties organization based in the US. Thor Halvorssen joined the Board of Advisors of FIRE in March 2004 When he stepped down from his previous duties. He founded and is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) in 2004 and HRF was incorporated in 2005. The HRF headquarters opened its doors in August 2006. In 2009 Thor also founded the Oslo Freedom Forum. The Oslo Freedom Forum is a gathering of human rights advocates from all over the world. He is the founder of the Moving Picture Institute, On Own Feet, and the Patron of the Czech-based Children’s Peace Movement.
Halvorssen regularly meets with North Korean defectors, activists, and friends of his from Silicon Valley. The stories of the defectors is always a sad one, but they are all thankful to have a better life. They help spread information and media to the citizens of the oppressed regime. They use tactics like attaching leaflets to balloons filled with helium and releasing them at the border of South Korea in the hopes that the balloons will drift to nearby cities and towns. Once in the air, the balloons are popped by a time-released acid. Other en devours include sending movies, treats and candy, bibles, and even what is purported to be photos of Kim Jong-Un’s wife in a porno. These actions are a regular part of Thor’s repertoire to give hope to North Korean citizens. Follow Halvorssen on Facebook to learn more about his causes.
Yeonmi Park was born in the Hyesan, a North Korean city near the Chinese border. At the age of 13, she and her mother Fled the Kim Dictatorship and escaped into China. It was here that she ended up falling into a life of abuse at the hands of Chinese gangsters. She finally reunited with her mother and escaped across the Gobi dessert. She now studies criminal justice in South Korea and works as an activist. Her harrowing tale is recounted in her Amazon.com released autobiography “In Order to Live”.
In a recent article on reason.com, Park says that the Chinese traffickers treat women as “merchandise” smuggling them around the country for profit and that there are thousands of women going through similar ordeals. She also states that because traditional North Korean society values traits such as purity and virginity, most of these women remain silent, and their stories will never be heard.
For a long time, Park lost faith in humanity. She especially distrusted men. She couldn’t imagine ever trusting a man again, and avoided interactions with men for six years. Writing her book helped her overcome these feelings, and restore her faith in others. She hopes that other women will open up about their own experiences after reading about hers.
The Kim regime has taken to malicious propaganda against Parks. This, she says is a sign that her activism is a step in the right direction. Although, says she is also terrified that a such a brutal regime is against her, and she fears for her family and herself.
The west is shielded from the brutalities of Kim’s regime Park hopes her book will open western countries eyes to the travesties occurring in her part of the world. She hopes this will in turn end these tragedies.
Read the full article here https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story
There was this really strange interview with this wicked smart guy named Thor Halvorssen on Fox News the other day. It was really strange because it seemed that he thought he was invited onto the network to talk about something completely different. But it was clear that Fox News was trying to use the interview to tear down Bernie Sanders, instead of talking about authoritarian dictators and their human rights violations around the globe, something that Thor Halvorssen is an expert in.
Thor Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation in order to take down dictators, expose corruption and help those who have been victimized by political crimes. It makes sense. Thor Halvorssen’s father was once falsely imprisoned by the dictator of Venezuela and tortured. His release was secured by human rights organizations and that had a profound impact on Thor. So it seems that Thor Halvorssen thought he was on the air to talk about his area of expertise.
Instead, the conservative news network decided to steer the interview toward presidential politics. They showed Bernie Sanders, said that he wanted America to be a socialist country, that his views were so extreme that even far left Democrats were slamming him, and that his version of socialism is a violation of basic human rights. Now, Thor Halvorssen doesn’t care what side of the political aisle you are from, he only cares about spreading open societies full of accountability and equality. So he’s visibly stunned at the questions. He attempts to sort it out.
He tries over and over again to qualify that statement — socialism is a violation of basic human rights. He keeps trying to separate the two, saying that socialism itself does not violate human rights but the people powering any form of government, including socialism, are capable of violating human rights. But when the Fox News anchor grows irritated at the fact that Thor Halvorssen won’t help her tear down Bernie Sanders, Thor swings his hammer — he proclaims his support for Bernie Sanders. It’s a jaw-dropping moment and one that, I’m sure, the Fox News network regrets.