Liu Xiaobo is an international hero. The man singlehandedly took on the Chinese government and won. Well, he won in a way; depending on how you look at it. Thor Halvorssen, the 39-year-old founder of the Human Rights Foundation, looks up to the man who famously proclaimed that he has no enemies.
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese author and professor. The man wrote Charter 08, a manifesto espousing the virtues of freedom of expression, good will, democracy, and love. For this, he was sentenced to 11 years in a Chinese prison.
At his own sentencing, he stood to deliver a speech. That speech, aptly named “I Have No Enemies,” goes down as one of the most poignant expressions of the struggle for freedom ever uttered. It showed the world why the man deserved the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, Liu Xiaobo also professed his love for his wife during his sentencing speech.
The country of Norway exalts Liu Xiaobo. After all, the country of Norway is where the Nobel Peace Prize is given. China did not look too kindly on this. They have restricted Norway’s visas and have resorted to economic blackmail.
The Chinese government has also put Liu Xiaobo’s wife under house arrest. They will not let her leave the country to collect her husband’s Nobel Prize.
According to Crunchbase, it is easy to see why Thor Halvorssen looks up to this Chinese professor. The founder of the Human Rights Foundation is in the midst of his own inexhaustible chase for freedom and authenticity. He comes from a long line of family members who are political dissidents.
His father was a Norwegian diplomat working with the Venezuelan government when Thor was born in Venezuela. Helping to investigate a Medellin drug cartel, his father was arrested by the government of Venezuela. He was thrown in jail for 74 days, tortured, and beaten. It was Thor Halvorssen, then a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, that bartered for his release.
The human rights activists mother was also shot during a New York City protest. It was Thor Halvorssen that covered the event for the Wall Street Journal. His mother was one of 11 injured, and the shooting left one woman dead.
It is clear that the Halvorssen family stands up for what they believe in. Everybody should turn their attention to Thor Halvorssen and the Human Rights Foundation to see what they do next.