Salman Rushdie on ventilator, likely to lose eye, liver stabbed and damaged: Report

Author Salman Rushdie was on a ventilator, likely to lose one eye and his liver was “stabbed and damaged” after an attack on him on Friday, his agent said, noting the “news is not good”.

New York Times (NYT) reported that according to Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, the Mumbai-born controversial author was on a respirator and unable to speak.

“The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was punctured and damaged,” Wylie said in a statement to the NYT.

Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing ” The Satanic Verses“, was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident at an event in western New York State.

Hadi Matar (24) of Fairview, New Jersey has been identified as the suspect who stabbed Rushdie, Major Eugene Staniszewski of the New York State Police told a news conference Friday night.

Rushdie, 75, was stabbed in the neck as he stood on stage at the Chautauqua Institution, a non-profit community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State where approximately 7,500 people stay on any given day during a nine – week season.

Staniszewski said Rushdie was given medical treatment by a doctor who was in the audience until emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene. “The doctor immediately began first aid” on Rushdie. The author was then airlifted to a local trauma center and “underwent surgery” around 17 local time, several hours after the attack, which took place around 10:47 a.m.

In response to a question about Matar’s nationality, Staniszewski said: “I don’t know yet.” Asked how he would describe Rushdie’s condition, Staniszewski said: “We’re trying to get an update and it’s something we’re watching closely.”

He said authorities are in the “process of obtaining search warrants for various items. There was a backpack located at the scene. There were also electronic devices”. He added that it is currently believed the suspect was “working alone”.

Staniszewski said authorities have no indication of a motive “at this time. But we are working with the FBI, the Sheriff’s Office, and we will determine what the motive for this was and what the motive for this attack was.”

Rushdie was speaking at the special Chautauqua Lecture Series event, exploring the theme of “More than Shelter” for a “discussion of the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for creative expression”.

He was joined by Henry Reese, co-founder of the Pittsburgh nonprofit City of Asylum, the largest residency program in the world for writers living in exile under threat of persecution.

Staniszewski said at approximately 10:47 a.m. local time that Rushdie and Reese, 73, had just arrived on stage at the Chautauqua Institution for the event. “Shortly after, the suspect jumped onto the stage and attacked Rushdie, stabbing him at least once in the neck and at least once in the stomach.”

Staniszewski said several members of staff at the facility and bystanders rushed the suspect and took him to the ground. A New York State Police trooper who was at the facility took the suspect into custody with the assistance of a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputy.

Reese was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, treated for facial injuries and subsequently released, authorities said.

State police are being assisted by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI in the investigation. Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt will determine “appropriate charges as the investigation continues,” authorities said.

Chautauqua Institution President Michael Hill said the organization is keeping Rushdie and Reese, as well as their families, “close in prayer at this time.”

“What we experienced in Chautauqua today is an event unlike any other in our nearly 150-year history. We were founded to bring people together in community, to learn and thereby create solutions through action, to develop empathy and to take on intractable problems. Today we are called to take on fear and the worst of all human traits. Hatred,” Hill said.

Counter Extremism Project (CEP) CEO Ambassador Mark Wallace said his thoughts and prayers go out to Rushdie and his family after he suffered the “senseless” attack on his life.

“Rushdie is a champion of freedom of speech who has lived under the threat of assassination since the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against him in 1989. Despite the persistent calls for his execution by the world leader state. sponsor of terrorism, Rushdie has refused to be intimidated. His bravery and commitment to his values ​​should be celebrated at this difficult moment.”

Published it

13 August 2022

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