Salman Rushdie off ventilator and able to speak after after horror stabbing

Claire Reid

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Salman Rushdie off ventilator and able to speak after after horror stabbing

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Salman Rushdie has been taken off ventilation and is now talking as he remains in hospital recovering from an horrific knife attack. 

The 75-year-old is in hospital following the brutal attack at the Chautauqua Institution in New York where he was due to give a lecture. 

The author was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he was placed on a ventilator. 

Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie has now confirmed he has been taken off the ventilator and is speaking. 

Speaking shortly after the attack on Friday, Wylie said: "Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged."

Credit: Keith Morris / Hay Ffotos / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Keith Morris / Hay Ffotos / Alamy Stock Photo

Police said Salman was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, before he was taken to hospital.

An interviewer who was also injured in the attack, Henry Reese, suffered a minor head injury and was taken to a local hospital.

Rushdie has experienced years of death threats after publishing his book The Satanic Verses in 1988. Some Muslims felt the content of the book to be blasphemous, and it was banned in some countries due to the controversy.

Speaking after the attack, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend’.

He added: “Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.”

A 24-year-old man, Hadi Matar from New York, was arrested after the attack.

Credit: Jeff Morgan 04 / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Jeff Morgan 04 / Alamy Stock Photo

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said in a statement: "The individual responsible for the attack yesterday, Hadi Matar, has now been formally charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree and Assault in the Second Degree.

"He was arraigned on these charges last night and remanded without bail."

Appearing in court yesterday (13 August), Matar pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. 

A judge ordered him to be held without bail after district attorney Jason Schmidt told her Matar took steps to purposely put himself in a position to harm Sir Salman, getting an advance pass to the event where the author was speaking and arriving a day early with a fake ID.

Shmidt said: “This was a targeted, unprovoked, pre-planned attack on Mr Rushdie.”

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Topics: News, US News

Claire Reid
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