Salman Rushdie ‘off ventilator and talking after being stabbed’

Salman Rushdie ‘off ventilator and talking after being stabbed’

Sir Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator after being attacked in New York.

It was a “targeted, unprovoked, pre-planned attack”, prosecutors claim (Image: Getty Images/AP/PA)

Sir Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is able to speak after being attacked in New York.

British-American author Aatish Taseer tweeted that the author was “talking and joking”, although he later deleted his post.

But the news has now been confirmed by Sir Salman’s agent Andrew Wylie.

It comes after news that he was stabbed around 12 times – including in the face and neck – when he was to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution.

The Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office said one of the wounds caused a puncture in his eye, which his agent said he could lose.

The 75-year-old also suffered injuries to his stomach, which led to a puncture of his liver and other stab wounds to his stomach and chest area.

Hadi Matar (24) is charged with attempted murder and violence. He has pleaded not guilty.

He appeared in court on Saturday wearing a black and white jumpsuit and a white face mask, with his hands cuffed in front of him.

Prosecutors have suggested he orchestrated a “targeted, unprovoked, pre-planned attack”.

File photo of undated award issued by The Booker Prizes to Salman Rushdie who has been longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. Sir Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator and could lose an eye after he was stabbed on stage in New York state.  The 75-year-old Indian-born British author suffered nerve damage to his arm and damage to his liver, according to the New York Times.  Date of issue: Saturday, August 13, 2022. PA photo.  See PA story POLICE Rushdie.  Image credit should read: Booker Prizes/PA Wire

The author is “off the ventilator talking (and joking)”, said British-American author Aatish Taseer (Image: PA)

M Rushdie being loaded onto a medical evacuation helicopter (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

District Attorney Jason Schmidt said the suspect deliberately put himself in a position where he could harm Sir Salman.

He was given an advance ticket to the lecture and arrived a day early with false identification, a judge was told.

Matar was ordered held without bail during the hearing.

It followed comments from public defender Nathaniel Barone, who said authorities had taken too long to get him before a judge, while leaving him “chained to a bench in the state police barracks.”

“He has the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence,” Barone said.

While the motives behind the attack remain unclear at this stage, Sir Salman has been a target ever since he published his novel The Satanic Verses.

The book was popular in the West, but caused outrage in some Muslim countries and was accused of blasphemy.

Sir Salman lived under a British government protection program for years after Iran’s then-leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death.

Hadi Matar, 24, center, arrives for a court hearing at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Hadi Matar, 24, arrives for a trial at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, NY (Image: AP)

The Iranian government withdrew its support for the assassination in 1998, but the fatwa was still out.

The Index on Censorship, an organization that promotes freedom of expression, said money was raised to increase the reward for Sir Salman’s murder as recently as 2016.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is “horrified that the author has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never stop defending”.

Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday: “Today the country and the world witnessed a reprehensible attack against author Salman Rushdie. This act of violence is appalling.

“All of us in the Biden-Harris administration are praying for his speedy recovery. We are grateful to good citizens and first responders for helping Rushdie so quickly after the attack, and to the police for their swift and efficient work, which is ongoing.’

Sir Salman is also known for Midnight’s Children, a novel about the birth of India which won the Booker Prize in 1981.

He was knighted in 2008 and earlier this year was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honor as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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