Annually, Thor Halvorssen, the leader of the Human Rights Foundation, produces the Oslo Freedom Forum as a way for human rights advocates to network with each other. This May event is not only attended by activists, but is also covered by notable journalist. One of the speakers that Thor was most interested in hearing from was Evan Mawarire, a pastor from Zimbabwe.
What Evan Mawarire Did
Thor has encouraged human right supporters to take to social media at all his forums. This pastor was highly successful in doing that starting in April 2016 with a Facebook post calling for governmental change. The video shows Mawarire wearing a Zimbabwe flag as he declares that he is just a citizen. He next explains the different color meanings of the flag. He then urged people to wear the flag daily to show their support for governmental change. Stay-away protests encouraged people to stay home from work on July 6, 2016. In order to show their support the people took to using the #ThisFlag on social media.
Evan Mawarire Arrested
Evan was arrested for inciting public violence and disturbing the peace. Evan then went to South Africa to protect his family. He returned to Zimbabwe on February 1, 2017, where he was arrested at the airport on charges of subverting a constitutionally elected government along with charges of inciting the public to riot. Thor joins with many others in calling for his immediate release.
Thor’s Own Story
Thor can tell his own horror stories of trying to work with governments. His father was arrested when he was very small for protesting against the Venezuelan government. His mother was shot at a protest over her husband being imprisoned. Thor Halvorssen’s cousin has also been imprisoned for protesting against the government in Venezuela.
You can also find Thor Halvoressen on Facebook: Thor Halvoressen