Salman Rushie, 75, was airlifted to the nearest hospital and is still alive, according to New York State Governor Kathy Hochul.
He gets the care he needs.
An Associated Press reporter saw a man rush onto the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, south of Buffalo, and begin punching or stabbing Mr. Rushdie, as the guest speaker was introduced. The writer was pushed or fell to the ground, and his assailant was subdued.
Mr Rushdie was quickly surrounded by about 10 people, who held his legs up, presumably to send more blood to his chest. He remained lying on the ground on the scene more or less five minutes, then was transported further, where he was taken care of by medical personnel before the arrival of the helicopter.
His assailant was arrested and taken into custody, according to New York State Police.
It was absolutely awfulsaid Carl Levan, a witness who was scheduled to attend the conference. According to what he reported to the BBC, Salman Rushdie was
We are facing an emergency. I cannot share more information at this stagesaid a spokesperson for the Chautauqua Institution – which organized the event which Salman Rushdie was to attend – when contacted by Reuters.
The writer was due to take part in a debate on Friday dedicated to writers and artists who benefit from the right of asylum in the United States to protect
their freedom and creative expressionaccording to the Chautauqua Institution website.
American and British politicians quickly began reacting to the attack on social media.
This attack is shocking and appallingwrote on Twitter the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.
” It is an attack on freedom of expression and thought. »
Our thoughts are with Salman’s family and loved onessaid Kathy Hochul.
I have asked the State Police to continue to assist with the investigation as needed.
“Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed while exercising a right that we must never stop defending,” wrote British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “My thoughts are with his loved ones. We all hope he is well. »
” Horrible. An attack on a giant of literature and one of the greatest defenders of freedom of expression”, published the British Minister for Culture, Nadine Dorries.
Three million dollars to kill Salman Rushdie
The book The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. A year later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late Iranian leader, issued an edict (fatwa) calling for the writer’s death.
A bounty of over US$3 million was also offered to anyone who killed Mr Rushdie.
The Iranian government has long distanced itself from Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa, but anti-Rushdie sentiment persists. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation increased the bounty on his head from 2.8 to 3.3 million.
Mr Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was no
no proof that people were interested in this award. That year he published an autobiographical book on the fatwa, Joseph Anthony.