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Born to a man with ancestral ties to the Norwegian king’s consul and a mother who is a descendant of Venezuela’s first president, young Thor Halvorssen grew up to become a champion of global human rights.

His first direct contact came while a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania where he was studying political science and history. Thor Halvorssen’s father was arrested, tortured and beaten in a Caracas jail for 74 days while investigating the Medellin cartel for possible money laundering and bank fraud. The young Halvorssen jumped to action by connecting with Amnesty International and started a campaign for his father’s release. Ultimately, the charges were dropped, his father was released, and Halvorssen ended up director of the Pan-American Committee for the International Society for Human Rights.

About a decade later, a second incident hit home. Halvorssen’s mother was attending a peaceful protest in Venezuela and was shot and wounded. This event was captured on live television and led Halvorssen to pen an article that was published in The Wall Street Journal.

Today, Halvorssen continues his advocacy as founder of the non-profit Human Rights Foundation. Started in 2005 and headquartered in New York City, the HRF’s mission is to “unite people in the common cause of defending human rights and promoting liberal democracy.” They have an International Council comprised of several former political prisoners including Russian activist Vladimir Bukovsky and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

In 2009, Halvorssen founded the Oslo Freedom Forum. It takes place annually in Oslo, Norway and brings together human rights activists from around the globe. It has become so successful that The Economist described it as a “spectacular human-rights festival…on its way to becoming a human-rights equivalent of the Dabos economic forum.”

Halvorssen is equally passionate about identifying human rights issues through films that he has produced such as Indoctrinate U, Freedom’s Fury, The Singing Revolution, The Libel Tourist and more currently in development or post-production.


On a recent segment of The Intelligent Report with Trish Regan featured on Fox News there was an exclusive interview of Thor Halvorssen, founder and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation. Regan interviewed Halvorssen to get his perspective on why Socialism is a violation of basic human rights.

Halvorssen has dealt with socialism personally. The socialist country of Venezuela has caused severe trauma and harm to him and his family. While under the Hugo Chavez regime, his father was imprisoned and his mother was shot. Currently, his cousin is imprisoned in Venezuela, so Halvorssen is no stranger to how a socialist goverment will parade around in a deceiving way saying they will help the people but in actuality they will be robbing them right from under their noses.

He believes that socialism cannot be enforced correctly unless paired with democracy. Referencing Northern Europe’s countries like Sweden and Denmark, Halvorssen shows Regan that it is possible but that we should all be wary of socialism under an authoritarian rule. This type of government paired with socialism will destroy the United States economy. In Venezuela, the government sets the price of items and that is the price they stay at. This was one of the many examples Halvorssen said showed how a socialist government could be destructive.

Thor Halvorssen reiterates throughout his interview with Regan that socialist policies can be done correctly and for the benefit of the people but that there must be a firm separation of powers. The government must not be allowed to take control because then the socialist policies could do so much irreversible damage. Halvorssen believes that with a pairing of a democratic government and socialist policies then the United States would prosper like the Northern European countries mentioned earlier.

If socialistic policies or even a socialist government is the only thing in power then the government has the power to take control of our personal property or whatever they please and this is what Halvorssen calls a “mask”. The government is not thinking of the people and putting them first, they are only looking to rob the country for all it’s worth.