The 2014 prize-giving ceremony was held on the evening of Wednesday 2 April 2014 at the elegant Coll & Cortes Fine Arts Gallery in Albemarle Street, London. As was the case in the previous year, the event brought together a unique collection of people united by their interest in the values behind the prize.
It is rare to find human rights activists, leading business figures, journalists and politicians mingling alongside DJ’s amongst exquisite works of Catalonian art. Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, mingled along with former National Security Adviser, Dame Pauline Neville Jones, highly-acclaimed journalist, Peter Oborne, and inaugural Contrarian Prize winner, Michael Woodford.
Ali Miraj, 39, who founded the prize a year ago, explained his rationale for doing so by pointing to the disaffection that so many ordinary people feel towards the institutions that run our country. He highlighted how politics was becoming more decentralised and how the public were looking for people who stood up for their principles are went against the grain. He drew a distinction between the lifetime contrarian and the individual who is faced with a stark choice and decides to speak out. (You can read his speech here).
The prize was won by the human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, who has represented over 300 people on death row in the US and consistently campaigned against the death penalty and for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
The prize which was donated by world-famous sculptor Mauro Perucchetti for the second time was presented to the winner by Will Hutton – former editor of the Observer and Principal of Hertford College, Oxford. The event was featured in City AM the following day (click here to see article).
Please click on the links below to view the following: