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Philippe Sands donates his £30,000 prize to refugee charities – Baillie Gifford matches donation

Philippe Sands donates his £30,000 prize to refugee charities – Baillie Gifford matches donation

Earlier this week, Philippe Sands won the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. Accepting the award, Britain’s most prestigious for non-fiction books, he announced that he and fellow shortlisted author and friend Hisham Matar had pledged that if either of them won, they would share the prize and donate it to refugee charities, barring a bottle of good cognac for Hisham and a jar of pickles for Philippe. Leading human rights lawyer Sands launched a passionate defence of liberal values and received a standing ovation from those in the room.

This generous impulse led many of the attendees at the ceremony to join Philippe in his munificence. Sarah Whitley, chair of the Baillie Gifford sponsorship committee comments:

‘We were inspired by Philippe’s decision to donate his £30,000 Baillie Gifford Prize money to charities supporting refugees. We will commit a further £30,000 alongside Philippe to strengthen the effect of his donation.’

Stephanie Flanders, chair of the Baillie Gifford Prize judges also pledged to donate her honorarium for judging the prize to the charity.

The final destination for the funds is being discussed amongst the various parties, but Philippe has said that a proportion will go to www.sosmediterranee.org

The Board of Directors of the Baillie Gifford Prize has donated a bottle of A. E. Dor VSOP Cognac for Hisham and a jar of gherkins for Philippe, so all of the prize money will go to charity.

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