Thor Halvorssen is the founder of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) based in New York. The Foundation has a 12-member team which works tirelessly to identify cases of tyrannical governance and corruption. They limelight on dictators who violate the rights of opposition groupings and those who considered as rebels.
HRF published a report in 2008 exposing illegal practices by the Bolivian government such as lashing, lynching, hanging and stoning of people in the name of Communal Justice. Thor Halvorssen recommended that the justice system needed to be adjusted such that the rights of law offenders would be respected.
In 2012, HRF urged Urban Outfitters in Cuba to reconsider the production of Che Guevara apparel label in respect of thousands who died in the Cuban revolution and for the millions who still endure the oppressive system. A month later, the plant canceled the label.
Halvorssen has also influenced the political activities in many countries. HRF wrote to the Ecuadorian President seeking the release of Governor Guadalupe. The Foundation felt that her imprisonment was politically motivated. After extensive campaigns, Guadalupe was freed and re-elected in Orellana as Governor in 2009.
After the Russian Orthodox Church’s endorsement of Putin for re-election in Russia, a movement called Pussy Riot protested at the Cathedral of Christ in Moscow. The police arrested three women. HRF report that Russia had violated the standard of freedom of expression in Europe. Russian authorities arrested the HRF Chairman in Moscow during the trial.
Thor Halvorssen in the Film Industry
The HRF funded and produced The Sugar Babies (2007), a documentary which exposed how the Dominican Republic brought African slaves from Haiti to work in sugar plantations. It revealed how deplorable the working conditions and living standards of the slaves were.
In 2015, the HRF facilitated a 10,000 copies balloon drop of a censored version of the movie The Interview to North Korea. The film belittles the country’s dictatorial leader very crudely. The HRF had also financed earlier balloon drops of TV Shows, movies, books, and pamphlets which the government would not allow.