Wednesday October 05, 2022

Salman Rushdie stabbed on stage in NY

Published : 13 Aug 2022, 00:43

  DF News Desk

Rushdie was attacked while on stage at a literary event in rural New York. Photo: Via DW.

Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in rural New York on Friday while on stage at a literary event, reported DW, quoting news agencies AP, Reuters and AFP.

A man rushed the stage as Rushdie was about to deliver a lecture and attacked him, witnesses said.

New York state police said Rushdie "suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck." He was then rushed to hospital with a helicopter in an unknown condition.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said Rushdie is alive and receiving care at a local hospital.

She commended state police for protecting Rushdie. She confirmed that the moderator of the event was attacked as well.

The alleged attacker was immediately arrested. Police later identified the suspect as a 24-year-old man from New Jersey. Police said he was tackled by audience members before being taken into custody.

Images shared by attendees appeared to show Rushdie being treated on stage.

A doctor who was in the audience and offered assistance after the attack told the New York Times that he appeared to have multiple stab wounds including one to the right side of his neck, but that he had a pulse and did not require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

A spokesperson for Rushdie, told Reuters news agency that "Salman is in surgery."

The incident took place at the Chautauqua Institution, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) southwest of Buffalo.

Rushdie was due to deliver a lecture on how the United States offers asylum for artists in exile.

Haunted by death threats

Rushdie, 75, has spent years living under a death threat from Iran over his novel "The Satanic Verses."

In 1989, Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" calling for Rushdie's death over allegations of blasphemy. Iran's government has since distanced itself from the edict, but in 2012, 15 Khordad Foundation — a semi-official Iranian religious foundation — offered a $3.3 million (€3.2 million) reward for anyone who kills Rushdie.

In 2016, a group of Iranian state-run media outlets added $600,000 more to that bounty .

Rushdie was born into an Indian Muslim family, and identifies as an atheist. After the fatwa was issued, Rushdie went into hiding, but has lived openly in recent years.

He obtained US citizenship in 2016 and lives in New York City.

After Friday's attack, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement that he was appalled that Rushdie was "stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend."