The man accused of stabbing author Sir Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty in a New York court to attempted murder and assault.
Hadi Matar’s attorney, 24, pleaded guilty on his behalf in a formal hearing.
Matar appeared in court wearing a black and white jumpsuit and a white mask. Hands cuffed in front.
Matar allegedly attacked British-Indian author Sir Salman on Friday while he was being introduced at a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute.
Sir Salman was seriously injured in the attack and is still being treated in hospital.
The 75-year-old British-Indian author is on a ventilator and may have lost an eye, sustained nerve damage in his arm and liver damage during the attack, his agent said.
Sir Salman, whose novel The Verses of Satan led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was preparing to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute, 65 miles from Buffalo in New York state, when he was attacked. .
According to police, he was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the stomach, before being taken to hospital.
According to the NYT, Sir Salman’s representative Andrew Wylie said he was on a ventilator and could not speak.
Mr Wylie added the news was “not good” and that the author “could probably lose an eye”.
He said nerves in Sir Salman’s arm were severed in the attack and his liver was “stabbed and damaged”.
Video of the day
New York State Police Major Eugene Staniszweski said late Friday: “Early this morning, at around 10:47 a.m., guest speakers Salman Rushdie, 75, and Ralph Henry Reese, 73, just took the stage. at the hospital.
“Shortly after, the suspect jumped onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie, stabbing him at least once in the neck and at least once in the stomach.
“Some hospital staff and spectators rushed the suspect to the ground, and shortly after, a soldier present at the institute arrested the suspect with the assistance of the Chautauqua district sheriff.
“Mr Rushdie was receiving medical treatment by a doctor who was present in the auditorium until EMS arrived on the scene.”
Photos from the Associated Press (AP) show Sir Salman lying on his back with his legs in the air and a first responder bending over him.
Satanic verses have been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous, and its publication prompted then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a call to kill he.
Mr. Reese, from City of Asylum, a residency program for writers living in exile under the threat of persecution, suffered a minor head injury.
They discussed the role of the United States as a refuge for other writers and artists in exile and as a home for free creative expression.
A video posted to Twitter by an AP reporter shows a man in black being led off the stage.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul told a news conference that a state police officer saved Sir Salman’s life.
She added: “This is an individual who has spent decades telling the truth before power, someone who is out there fearless, despite the threats that have followed him all his adult life. .”
The Chautauqua Institute, which is hosting the lecture, tweeted about the incident, writing: “We ask for your prayers for Salman Rushdie and Henry Reese, and patience as we fully focus on coordinating with police officials following a tragic incident at the amphitheater today.”
Its president, Michael Hill, said: “What we experienced at Chautauqua today is an incident unlike anything in our nearly 150-year history.
“We were founded to bring people together in the community to learn and in so doing, create solutions through action, develop empathy, and solve dilemmas.
“Today, we are called to carry with us fear and the worst of all human traits – hatred.”
Jeremy Genovese, 68, from Beachwood, Ohio, a retired academic from Cleveland State University, told the PA news agency that he arrived at the lecture hall when it was being evacuated and people were “running out” “.
“People were shocked, many people were in tears,” he said. Chautauqua has always prided itself on being a place where people can engage in civil dialogue.
“The amphitheater is a large outdoor venue where people have been giving lectures since the late 1800s. You need a pass to access the grounds but it’s not too difficult to get in.”
Sir Salman’s publisher Penguin Random House said it was “deeply shocked and appalled” by the incident.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed while exercising a right that we should never stop protecting”.
He added: “My thoughts are with his loved ones right now. We all hope he’s okay.”
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Salman Rushdie has long been the embodiment of the fight for freedom and liberty against those who seek to destroy them.
“This cowardly attack on him yesterday was an attack on those values. The entire Labor Party is praying for his full recovery.”
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: “Today, the country and the world witnessed a reprehensible attack on writer Salman Rushdie. This act of violence is appalling.
“All of us in the Biden-Harris administration are praying for his speedy recovery. We thank the good citizens and first responders who helped Mr Rushdie quickly after the attack and to law enforcement for the prompt and effective work that is underway.”
Sir Salman was previously president of PEN America, which celebrates freedom of speech and speech, and chief executive Suzanne Nossel condemned the attack.
She tweeted: “PEN America is reeling with shock and horror upon hearing of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former president and staunch ally, Salman Rushdie.”
Sir Salman began his writing career in the early 1970s with two unsuccessful books, before Midnight Children, about the birth of India, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.
The author has lived in hiding for many years in London under the British government’s protection program after a lucrative disaster.
In 1998, the Iranian government withdrew support for the death penalty and Sir Salman gradually returned to public life, even appearing as himself in the 2001 film Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Index on Censorship, an organization that promotes free speech, said the money was raised to increase the reward for the killing of Sir Salman as recently as 2016, stressing that the fatwa still stands.
He was knighted in 2008 and earlier this year was made a member of the Honorary Companion Order as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/salman-rushdie-stabbing-man-enters-not-guilty-plea-41909946.html Salman Rushdie stabbed – man pleads not guilty