Thor Halvorssen is a renowned civil rights activists and the founder of the Human Rights Foundation. From a tender age, Thor was exposed to situations which made him who he is today. His father was a victim of torture subjected by the Venezuelan government, while his mother was murdered in a demonstration against Hugo Chavez’ dictatorial regime. Thor’s cousin is also a political prisoner in Venezuela.
Unlike other human rights champions, Thor does not moan over a load of issues. Mr Halvorssen has an adoration for people, particularly dissenters and defectors as well as brazen troublemakers who will not stop until their grievances are heard. He heads the HRF in partnership with Garry Kasparov, a well-known activist who is strongly against the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Kasparov has experienced the first-hand agony at the hands of the Russian regime, having been jailed for two years for chanting dissident songs.
Like his ally, Thor has also undergone suffering while championing his ideas. In 2010, he visited Vietnam’s capital to interview Thich Quang Do, a leader of the local Buddhist Church, whose movements had been restricted to his home for nearly three decades in addition to his denomination being banned. Thor sneaked into his monastery and managed to record an interview. However, on the way out he was confronted by Vietnamese police, who demanded a concrete explanation. Despite being a staunch Catholic, Thor convinced the authorities that he was a Buddhist Seeker. They let him go, but his cameraman had to hide the interview tape in his rectum to avoid apprehension.
About Thor Halvorssen
Thor Halvorssen is a vociferous human rights champion, whose roots trace back to Venezuela. His relentless efforts in advocating for democracy have earned him multiple plaudits, with media outlets labeling him as the ‘voice of the underprivileged.’ He has contributed to the establishment of various activist groups, including the famous Oslo Freedom Forum.
Many people have heard about North Korea on the evening news and know of it’s leader, Kim Jong-Un. However, a lot of people do not know the true plight of North Korea’s citizens. However, Yeomni Park knows first hand what life in North Korea is like. She is one of a lucky few who was able to escape the dictatorship, and make it to freedom. Yeomni Park grew up in the city of Hyesan, North Korea. This city is located on North Korea’s border with China. She was able to literally look across a river to the “outside”. However, she knew very little of what life was like outside of the isolated nation. The media was censored, and she had no exposure to much of anything from outside the country. Her father began trading goods from North Korea into China. However, this was illegal. After four years of this, he was caught. When he was, he got sentenced to a North Korean labor camp. While he was serving time, Yeomni Park watched a film that showed her how North Koreans have it worse than much of the world. This film according to NK News was banned in North Korea, as it was made in Hollywood. Her father was ultimately freed from the camp, and the family bravely planned to escape from North Korea. In North Korea, enough people defect from the country that there is an illegal business of sneaking people out of the country. Yeomni and her family got a ride across the border with those who involved in the risky business of sneaking people out of the country. They did successfully make it into China. They lived stealthily within the country for two years, as it is illegal for North Koreans to be in China. While they were there, Yeomni’s father developed cancer and passed away. However, Yemomni and her mother still managed to get out of China. They attempted to sneak out through Mongolia. However, this went a bit differently than planned. In Mongolia, they were detained for a matter of months. They were ultimately released. When they were released from the detention facility in Mongolia’s capital, they were able to get to South Korea. Yeomni still lives in this country, and she was able to get citizenship in South Korea. Yeomni Park resides in Seoul, South Korea. She is a student at a local university, and Yeomni Park has done a lot to spread the word on BBCabout the truth of life in North Korea. She has told her story numerous times. She spoke at a summit, and the video of the speech has been viewed throughout the world. She feels that her and other defectors spreading the word of what goes on inside North Korea is very important, and it could result in changes within the oppressive nation. Yeomni Park’s story is an incredible one. Her story has been heard by millions of people around the world. Hopefully, her dreams for a North Korea with more freedom for it’s citizens will come true one day. Maybe one day North Koreans will be able to live without government oppression.