While his alleged attacker is in custody for attempted murder, compassion for the injured Salman Rushdie is great. Good news comes from the hospital.
Chautauqua – The British-Indian author is said to be on the mend after the stabbing attack on Salman Rushdie. According to reports, he is no longer mechanically ventilated. He was able to speak again on Saturday (local time), the New York Times reported, citing his literary agent Andrew Wylie. Police say the man who attacked the writer on stage in upstate New York is being investigated for second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault. The 24-year-old alleged perpetrator is therefore in custody.
There was no further information on a motive for the crime. Second-degree murder is a separate offense in the US legal system for the death of a human being. He can be sentenced to years in prison in New York State.
Rushdie continued to be treated at a hospital in Erie, in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania, according to US media. But his condition seems to have improved somewhat. Fellow writer Aatish Taseer wrote on Twitter that Rushdie was joking. The tweet was apparently later deleted. Meanwhile, celebrities and politicians from around the world condemned Rushdie’s stabbing attack and wished him a speedy recovery.
Rushdie was attacked Friday at an event in Chautauqua, west New York. A few minutes earlier he had taken the stage to speak about persecuted artists.
The 75-year-old was operated on in the hospital and put on a ventilator, his agent Wylie told the New York Times on Friday evening. He cannot speak and will likely lose an eye. Nerves in his arm were also severed and his liver damaged.
Religious leaders called for Rushdie’s killing
Rushdie has been persecuted by religious fanatics for decades. The then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for the author to be killed because of his work “The Satanic Verses” from 1988. He accused Rushdie of insulting Islam, the Prophet and the Koran in his novel.
Among other things, the book features a character who resembles the Prophet Mohammed. The criticism is that Rushdie questioned the divine origin of the Koran. The death sentence was followed by Rushdie’s dramatic escape and years of hiding. He has now lived in New York for more than 20 years.
Get well wishes from all over the world
Numerous politicians condemned the violence against Rushdie and stressed the importance of fundamental rights and freedom of expression. US President Joe Biden commended Rushdie for not being intimidated and for “essential, universal values” such as truth, courage and resilience. The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter: “An international rejection of such criminal acts that violate fundamental rights and freedoms is the only way to a better and more peaceful world.”
Israeli Prime Minister Jair Lapid also blamed Iran’s leadership for the attack. The incident was “the result of decades of incitement led by the extremist regime in Tehran,” Lapid wrote on Twitter.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said: “Anyone who justifies this assassination attempt is spreading nothing but hatred and extremism. Anyone who believes in peaceful coexistence must oppose this clearly and consistently.” Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wrote on Twitter: “What a heinous act!”. He wished the author a lot of strength for the recovery.
The German PEN center in Darmstadt also sharply condemned the attack on the writer. “We are deeply shocked by the attack,” said Secretary General Claudia Guderian on Saturday. The writer has been living “for the freedom of the word” for 30 years now under the threat of death. “There has never been such an attempt on his life before.”
British Harry Potter author Joanne K. Rowling has been threatened online after Rushdie was attacked. Rowling took to Twitter on Friday to express her horror at the violence, writing about Rushdie: “I hope he’s okay.” Another user replied, “Don’t worry, you’re next.” you are next”). dpa