The man was an upstanding diplomat, an official ambassador for his country. He was grabbed off the street by the government’s secret security force without formal charges and kept in a secret jail. He was repeatedly beaten and tortured. His family fought to gain information about him and to obtain his freedom. That man was Thor Halvorssen’s father, who was abducted by the corrupt Venezuelan regime of the 1990s. Some years after this Thor’s mother was shot by these same lawless enforcers, along with 12 others, one of whom died. She was part of a legal and peaceful public gathering. Others in Thor’s family suffered similar attacks.
It took the joint efforts of two major peaceful “rights” charities, the International Society for Human Rights and Amnesty International, along with more effort from powerful individuals to secure his father’s freedom. Thor Halvorssen is sure his father would have been murdered in the oppressive Venezuelan government’s clutches if they had not gained his freedom. The effect on Thor was deeply ingrained.
He works to promote representative democracy and the reduction of rigidly repressive regimes, such as Venezuela’s has been. His objectives are forthright and clear in the stated targeted objectives, which include these basic rights for all humans on planet Earth:
Freedom of speech
Freedom of self-determination
Right to worship
Freedom to associate
Right to buy and sell property
Freedom of travel
Right to equal treatment by law enforcement
Right to participate in government
Freedom from exile or arbitrary detainment
Freedom from torture and slavery
Freedom in matters of conscience
In 2005 Thor Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation to join ranks with the fore-mentioned groups to fight for freedoms for individuals in any country where such rights are continuing to be restricted. He has raised the awareness of the curtailment of the basic rights of all humans, especially in those places with the worst rights records, still oppressing their citizens.