Family history can often have a great effect on the political views people possess, and this can be seen as being the case for Venezuelan born human rights activist Thor Halvorssen. Although Halvorssen comes from a long family line of politicians and diplomats the family is also well known for maintaining their integrity when those around them may be losing theirs; Thor describes himself as a classical liberal who has spent much of his time as an adult campaigning on behalf of those who are trapped in closed societies around the world.
The career of Thor Halvorssen has seen him create some of the world’s most impressive new human rights institutions, including the Human Rights Foundation and the Oslo Freedom Forum. In terms of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor has used his growing influence and notoriety in a bid to publicize groups and individuals being persecuted for their political views; Thor has been named as one of the most impressive opponents to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has used his high profile to promote the causes highlighted by the Russian activist group “Pussy Riot”. Thor has also made sure his presence is felt in Russia on a regular basis by promoting former World chess champion and political opponent to Vladimir Putin, Gary Kasparov to the role of President of the Human Rights Foundation.
The liberal values of Thor Halvorssen have seen him become an owner of the “Ny Tid” Socialist newspaper in 2010; published monthly in the traditional Halvorssen home of Norway, “Ny Tid” was in danger of going out of business until it was rescued by the intervention of Thor. Despite being a liberal, the political views of Thor Halvorssen have rarely played a part in his career as a human rights activist that has seen the film producer publicize human rights abuses committed by both left and right wing governments. Thor believes in reporting all human rights abuses as a political outlook of any kind does not give any government the right to strip their citizens of their rights.