Sir Salman Rushdie ‘on ventilator and may lose an eye’ after New York attack

Sir Salman Rushdie is believed to be on a ventilator and may have lost an eye after being stabbed on stage in New York state.

The 75-year-old British-Indian author suffered nerve damage in his arm and liver damage, according to the New York Times.

New York State Police have designated the suspected attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, who was taken into custody following the incident.

Sir Salman, whose writings led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute, in Chautauqua, about 65 miles southwest of Buffalo, when the incident occurred.

According to police officials, he was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, before being taken to hospital.

According to Andrew Wylie, the NYT’s representative, Sir Salman, 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”.

Major Eugene Staniszweski said at a news conference held in Jamestown on Friday: “Early this morning, at about 10:47 a.m., guest speakers Salman Rushdie, 75, and Ralph Henry Reese, 73, just arrived. stage at the hospital.

“Shortly, 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.

“Several hospital staff and spectators rushed the suspect to the ground, and shortly thereafter, a military member present at the institute arrested the suspect with the assistance of the Chautauqua County sheriff.

Video of the day


Author Salman Rushdie is cared for after he was attacked during a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute (Joshua Goodman/AP)

“Mr. Rushdie was supported with medical treatment by a doctor present in the auditorium until EMS arrived on the scene.

“Mr Rushdie was airlifted to a local trauma center and is currently undergoing surgery.”

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.

His book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous, and its publication prompted then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue an appeal. kill him.

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 America’s role as a refuge for other writers and artists in exile and as a home for the freedom of 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: “He is alive, he has been taken to safety. But here is an individual who has spent decades telling the truth before power, someone out there fearless, despite the threats that have followed him his entire adult life. “

The Chautauqua Institute, which hosted the talk, 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 the partners. police officer following a tragic incident at the Amphitheater today.

“All shows are canceled for the rest of the day. Please refer to the NYS Police statement. “

Its president, Michael Hill, said: “What we experienced at Chautauqua today was an incident unlike anything in our nearly 150-year history.

“We were founded to bring people and communities together to learn and, by doing so, create solutions through action, develop empathy, and tackle difficult problems.


Sir Salman is carried on a stretcher to a helicopter to be taken to hospital (AP)

“Today, we are called to carry 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.”


Protests in the UK over the publication of the novel The Verses of Satan in 1989 (PA)

Sir Salman’s publisher Penguin Random House said it was “deeply shocked and appalled” by the incident.

Penguin Random House chief executive Markus Dohle said in a statement to PA: “We were shocked and horrified to learn of the attack on Salman Rushdie while he was speaking at the Chautauqua Institute. in New York.

“We condemn this violent attack in public, and our thoughts are with Salman and his family at this sad time.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter 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.”

Sir Salman was previously the president of PEN America, which celebrates freedom of speech and speech, and its chief executive Suzanne Nossel was among those responding to 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.”

She added: “Our thoughts and passion now rest with our unyielding Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and fervently believe that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced. “

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.

It went on to bring him worldwide fame and was named “Best Book Writer” on the 25th anniversary of the literary award.


Blood stains mark a screen on stage where author Sir Salman Rushdie was attacked with a knife during a lecture in New York (Joshua Goodman/AP)

The author has lived in hiding for many years in London under the British government’s protection scheme after Ayatollah Khomeini made his death appeal to The Satanic Verses.

Finally, 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 hit film Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Index on Censorship, an organization that promotes freedom of expression, said the money had been raised to increase the reward for the most recent killing of Sir Salman in 2016, stressing that his death still remains. original value.

His other works include The Moor’s Last Sigh and Shalimar The Clown, long cataloged for Booker.

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. Sir Salman Rushdie ‘on ventilator and may lose an eye’ after New York attack

Fry Electronics Team

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