Salman Rushdie attack: Nerves in author's arms severed, he may lose an eye, and is on ventilator after liver damage

Salman Rushdie attack: Nerves in author's arms severed, he may lose an eye, and is on ventilator after liver damage
Salman Rushdie being airlifted to a nearby hospital by helicopter (video screenshot/City News, Joe Maher/Getty Images)

CHAUTAUQUA, NEW YORK: Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator after being attacked up to 15 times including once in the neck and abdomen by Hadi Matar, 24, as he was being presented to the stage for the CHQ 2022 event in Chautauqua, near Buffalo in upstate New York, on Friday, August 12.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The news is not good," the author's agent, Andrew Wylie, told the New York Times on Friday evening. Wylie stated that the author is unable to speak. "Salman will likely lose one eye; his arm's nerves were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged." Earlier, New York State Police said, “On August 12 2022, at about 11am, a male suspect ran up on to the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer. Rushdie suffered a stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known.”

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED ARTICLES

How Salman Rushdie's stabbing unfolded: Blood erupted in spurts as author was knifed upto 15 times on NY stage

Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran hails Salman Rushdie's stabbing, says fatwa 'fired like a bullet'

ADVERTISEMENT

Rushdie was treated by a doctor on the stage before being airlifted to an area hospital by helicopter. According to police, Henry Reese, the co-founder of the City of Asylum organization who was sitting next to Rushdie, sustained a minor head injury. Rushdie was scheduled to speak at the Chautauqua Institution. Following the incident, the audience was evacuated. For years after publishing 'The Satanic Verses', Rushdie received death threats (1988). Since then, the book has been banned in Iran, and a $3.3 million bounty has been placed on the author's head. He wrote a book titled "Joseph Anton," the pseudonym he used while underground, about being in hiding with a price on his head.

ADVERTISEMENT

Salman Rushdie was stabbed up to 15 times, including once in the neck in Chautauqua, near Buffalo in upstate New York, on Friday, August 12 (Joshua Goodman via AP)
Salman Rushdie was stabbed up to 15 times, including once in the neck in Chautauqua, near Buffalo in upstate New York, on Friday, August 12 (Joshua Goodman via AP)

Rushdie is a former president of PEN America. The current PEN America CEO expressed its “shock and horror” about the attack on the author. “Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered. He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While we do not know the origins or motives of this attack, all those around the world who have met words with violence or called for the same are culpable for legitimizing this assault on a writer while he was engaged in his essential work of connecting to readers. Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced,” Nossel added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Share this article: Salman Rushdie attack: Nerves in author's arms severed, he may lose an eye, and is on ventilator after liver damage