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Salman Rushdie: Author alive after being stabbed in the neck at event in New York

Salman Rushdie: Author alive after being stabbed in the neck at event in New York


uthor Sir Salman Rushdie, whose writing in the 1980s drew death threats, has been attacked on stage at an event in New York.

Sir Salman was due to speak at an event of the Chautauqua Institution on Friday. According to reports, witnesses then saw a man run onto the stage and attack the author.

A statement from the New York State Police department read: “On August 12, 2022, at about 11 am, a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.

“Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital.

“The interviewer suffered a minor head injury.”

New York governor Kathy Hochul told a press conference that a state police officer saved his life in what she described as a “heartbreaking” incident.

“He is alive, he has been airlifted to safety. But here is an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power, someone who’s been out there unafraid, despite the threats that have followed him his entire adult life,” she said.

Sir Salman is “getting the care he needs” after being taken to hospital, Ms Hochul said. More information is being gathered about the offender.

The police said a male suspect has been taken into custody.

The attacker was also restrained following the incident.

The Chautauqua Institution, which was hosting Sir Salman Rushdie’s lecture when he was attacked, said: “We ask for your prayers for Salman Rushdie and Henry Reese, and patience as we fully focus on co-ordinating with police officials following a tragic incident at the Amphitheater today.

“All programs are canceled for the remainder of the day. Please consult the NYS Police statement.”

Jeremy Genovese, 68, a retired academic from Cleveland State University, told PA he arrived at the amphitheatre as it was being evacuated and that people were “streaming out”.

“People were in shock, many people in tears. Chautauqua has always prided itself as a place where people can engage in civil dialogue,” he said,

“The amphitheatre is a large outdoor venue where people have given lectures since the late 1800s. You need a pass to access the grounds but it is not too difficult get in.”

Sir Salman’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous.

Author Salman Rushdie is tended to after he was attacked during a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y

/ AP

A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for his death which forced him into hiding.

A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Sir Salman.

In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for the author from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

Sir Salman dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward.

JK Rowling and Stephen King are among the authors and notable faces voicing their disbelief after Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage in New York state.

Harry Potter author Ms Rowling said on Twitter: “Horrifying news.

“Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”

Renowned American author of horror and fantasy novels King said: “I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”

Salman Rushdie

/ AFP via Getty Images

A number of political figures also shared their shock.

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.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine it must not be tolerated. My thoughts are with Sir Salman and his family.”

Conservative leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak wrote on Twitter: “Shocked to hear of the attack on Salman Rushdie in New York.

“A champion of free speech and artistic freedom. He’s in our thoughts tonight.”

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