Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator and said to be 'joking' a day after being brutally stabbed
ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA: 'The Satanic Verses' author Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is now able to talk a day after he was viciously stabbed by a man who rushed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in Upstate New York on Friday morning, July 13, where Rushdie, 75, was starting a lecture on freedom of expression. Attorney Jason Schmidt said during the suspect's arraignment that Rushdie suffered three stab wounds to the right side of his neck, four in the stomach, a puncture wound to his right eye which he may lose, two puncture wounds to his chest, and a laceration to his right thigh. He was airlifted to UPMC Hamot hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Rushdie's fellow author Aatish Taseer tweeted that he was "off the ventilator and talking (and joking)". Taseer later deleted the tweet but Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie confirmed that the information was correct. He did not reveal any further details, the Daily Mail reported. The information was shared by many others on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Hadi Matar, the suspect in Rushdie's stabbing, pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on Saturday afternoon, July 13. The 24-year-old was charged with attempted murder and assault. He entered the plea during a proceeding at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville. “This was a targeted, pre-planned unprovoked attack on Mr Rushdie,” said Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt during the arraignment.
What a relief! Salman Rushdie is reportedly off his ventilator and talking (and joking) again.— Deborah Solomon (@deborahsolo) August 14, 2022
Schmidt said that Matar, a resident of Fairview, NJ, took a bus to Chautauqua and bought a pass to the educational institute two days before the event was scheduled to take place. He arrived at least a day before the event. “He didn’t bring a wallet. He had cash and pre-paid Visa cards with him. He had false identification with him,” Schmidt said, according to New York Post.
Schmidt told Judge Marilyn Gerace about the 1989 fatwa against Rushdie by the Iranian government under then leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “That plays an important role for bail consideration because his resources don’t matter to me … the agenda that was carried out yesterday is something that’s adopted and sanctioned by larger groups and organizations well beyond jurisdictional borders of Chautauqua County,” Schmidt, who wanted Matar to be held without bail, said. “Even if this court sets a million dollar bail, we stand a risk that this bail could be met because of that,” the prosecutor added.
Matar was sent to jail by Gerace without bail. After the proceeding, Matar’s lawyer Nathaniel Barone said that his client had no criminal record and had been “very cooperative” with him. Matar's social media posts suggested he supported Iran and its Revolutionary Guard. He also made posts in support of Shi’a extremism.