Thor Halvorssen Mendoza is not your standard activist. Indeed, with the rise of the internet, the term seems to have lost much of it’s importance and heft, with anyone slightly politically minded and willing to be a weekend, keyboard warrior garbing themselves in the mantle of “activist.” Mr. Halvorssen, however, put his money where his mouth is, rolls up his sleeves and gets down in the dirt for his myriad causes. Read more: Thor Halvorssen | Facebook
He is, undoubtedly most well known for his creation of (in 2005) and participation in the Human Rights Foundation, the intercontinental, non profit institution dedicated to rooting out tyranny and exposing it to the world in pursuit of obtaining a fundamental respect for human dignity.
However, unlike many other political and philosophical think tanks, the Human Rights Foundations takes a very “boots on the ground” position for achieving their goals. This is best illustrated in a mission the foundation undertook in 2010 to the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to interview the imprisoned Buddhist leader, Thich Quang Do. Do had been placed under house arrest due to widespread religious persecution in the region and Thor Halvorssen took it upon himself to lead the charge in the effort.
Through covert means Thor Halvorssen was able to sneak into the Buddhist leader’s house and conduct a in depth interview concerning the nature of religious persecution in Vietnam. However, when Halvorssen attempted to leave the establishment he was quickly apprehended by the local authorities to took it upon themselves to beat him bloody due to his transgression. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen: https://humanrightsfoundation.org/about/board-and-international-council/thor-halvorssen
However, Halvorssen was able to get the last laugh by swapping off the video card containing the important interview to one of his fellow Human Rights Foundation associates who smuggled the goods out in his rectum.
Halvorssen was later released after his foundation place pressure on the Saigon government officials and when he was asked about whether or not he recovered the video tape of his interview with Do, he responded with a laugh and said that they had to get someone else to retrieve it.
It’s hard to think of a great deal of other political activist who are willing to endure to much and put themselves on the line in a similar fashion.