Category Archives: Activism

Thor Halvorssen & Human Rights Advocacy

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Born on March 9, 1976, Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza, popularly known as Thor Halvorssen, is a Venezuelan film producer and human rights activist who has contributed immensely to public interest advocacy, public policy, civil liberties, and political democracy.

Thor Halvorssen was schooled at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated magnum cum laude with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science and History. These degrees were obtained concurrently.

His enthusiasm stems from a deeper and personal experience. During his first year of study at the University of Pennsylvania, his father was arrested on trumped-up charges due to his involvement in the investigation the notorious narcotics gang, the Medellin Cartel. He was beaten and tortured almost to the point of death. Seeing this, Thor Halvorssen put up a spirited campaign to force the release of his father. As a result, he got help from an NGO, Transparency International. His father was found innocent and released. After his release, Thor’s father was appointed a director of a Pan-American United Nations Committee in charge of human rights.

His mother was also shot and wounded by Venezuelan Security officials while attending a peaceful demonstration of the Venezuelan recall referendum in 2004.

To demonstrate his human rights activism, Thor Halvorssen is a council member at the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that has tasked itself with the responsibility of protecting and promoting human rights in the world. All the members of this council serve on a pro bono basis for the greater good. The Human Rights Foundation runs activities like human rights advocacy campaigns, exposing dictatorships, conferences on human rights, and promoting studying in the areas of law and democracy through their Center for law and democracy.

Before joining HRF, Thor Halvorssen worked at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) as an executive director and CEO. FIRE was a civil liberties movement in the USA. Other human rights movements he has been involved with include; Oslo Freedom Forum and Children’s Peace Movement.

Mr. Thor has also given lectures on human rights at Harvard School of Law, the British Parliament, American Enterprise Institute and the United Nations Associations in New York.

Thor is also involved in film production. He has co-produced a movie, Freedom’s Fury whose plot follows the uprising against misrule in Hungary in 1956. Other films under his name include Hammer & Tickle, the Singing Revolution just but to mention a few.

Yeonmi Park’s Escape from North Korea

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Yeonmi Park was born in North Korea. She and her mother, father and sister were a close knit family. Her father did everything he could to take care of his family. He was imprisoned for black market trading. This caused them to be labeled as criminals and pushed to the edge of society. Yeonmi and her family suffered from hunger and deprivation during their time in North Korea. When she was 13, weighing only 60 pounds. Yeonmi admitted on the Reason interview that she and her mother were smuggled to China.
In China, they were sold into the sex trade. After two years in China, they escaped into Seoul, South Korea where they found freedom. By this time, Yeonmi’s father had passed away. Her sister’s whereabouts were never known. In her early 20’s and attending a university, Yeonmi is releasing a book about her life titled, “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girls Journey to Freedom.”

The book describes the many things she and her family had to endure during their time under the brutal regime in North Korea. She says that the same treatment is being forced on people in the country still today. According to a News.AU report, the North Korean government (See, http://www.nknews.org/2015/02/yeonmi-park-hits-back-at-north-korean-video/ for additional info.) has tried desperately to undermine her credibility, along with that of other defectors from the region. She has shown extreme resilience in telling the world what it is truly like for many in North Korea. She has become very well-known on YouTube for a speech she made last year at the One Young World Summit in Dublin. Her story brought the audience to tears and to their feet in support of her.

See other source at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Yeon-mi.

Fox News Invites Thor Halvorssen, Founder Of Human Rights Foundation And Bernie Sanders Supporter, For An Interview And Things Get Weird

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Bernie Sanders keeps telling the truth on the campaign trail and that is why he continues to surge in the polls. In fact, he has collected more votes from people under 30 than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined this primary season. But there is a lot of confusion about the presidential platform of Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist senator from the state of Vermont. There seems to be a negative connotation to socialism. In an effort to slow his rise in the polls, Fox News recently tried to take down the presidential candidate in an interview with Thor Halvorssen, the founder of the Human Rights Foundation.

 

In the three-minute interview, it is very apparent what Fox News is trying to do. In fact, they don’t even try to hide it. Right at the beginning of the interview, the hostess states that Bernie Sanders wants America to be a socialist country and that socialism is a violation of basic human rights. She repeats herself in her first question. She asks Thor Halvorssen, the world-famous human rights activist, exactly why socialism is a violation of basic human rights. But she gets it all wrong and is about to get schooled by Thor.

 

The first thing that Thor Halvorssen tries to do is to separate socialism from evil. He tells her that there are great examples of socialist governments in Scandinavia, but also says there are terrible examples of socialist governments such as in Venezuela. But she tries again, asking him why socialism is bad. He then tries to define socialism for her and the viewing audience, but she cuts him off not wanting to get “bogged down in details”, and she keeps pushing him to slam socialism and Bernie Sanders on national television. That’s when he turns it around on her.
Thor Halvorssen, the world-famous human rights activist, is a Bernie Sanders supporter and has contributed $2700 to his campaign. She squeals, “Why?” Because Hillary Clinton has taken campaign contributions from human rights violating dictators around the world and the leading Republican candidates have verbally supported dictators like Vladimir Putin. To him, Bernie Sanders is the clear choice.