New York: Author Salman Rushdie was taken off the ventilator last night as he remained hospitalised with serious injuries after being stabbed at a literary event in New York.
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story
- The president of Chautauqua Institution, where the author was stabbed, said in a tweet that Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and was talking. Mr Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, also confirmed the development.
- Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges in what a prosecutor called a “preplanned” crime.
- The author was stabbed in the neck and abdomen approximately 10 times, prosecutors said during the arraignment of Hadi Matar in a New York court. A preliminary review of Matar’s social media showed him to be sympathetic to “Shia extremism” and the causes of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).
- Witnesses said Mr Rushdie was about to speak at the event when the suspect rushed onstage and stabbed him before being wrestled to the ground by staff and other people in the audience. The interviewer, Ralph Henry Reese, also suffered a facial injury in the attack but has been released from the hospital, police said.
- Salman Rushdie had to be airlifted to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. He may lose an eye and the nerves in one of his arms were severed and his liver was damaged, according to his agent.
- The attack on Salman Rushdie was met with shock and outrage from much of the world. US President Joe Biden condemned the “vicious attack” and said the writer stands for essential and universal ideals — truth, courage and resilience. “I am grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who jumped into action to render aid to Rushdie and subdue the attacker,” President Biden said.
- British leader Boris Johnson said he was “appalled,” while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attack “reprehensible” and “cowardly.”
- Mr Rushdie, 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize.
- His 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. The novel led to a fatwa, a religious decree, by Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The threat forced him into hiding for several years.
- Mr Rushdie moved to New York in the early 2000s and became a US citizen in 2016. In a recent interview with Germany’s Stern magazine, Mr Rushdie spoke of how, after so many years of living with death threats, his life was “getting back to normal.” ,