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Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator and is talking, say doctors

Hadi Matar, who allegedly stabbed the renowned author onstage during an event on Friday at the Chautauqua Institution, has been "remanded without bail" in the Chautauqua County Jail. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault

Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator and is talking, say doctors
New York, First Published Aug 14, 2022, 8:49 AM IST

Acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator and is talking, said Michael Hill, the president of Chautauqua Institution in western New York State, where the author was hospitalised after being stabbed at an event onstage. However, he will likely lose one eye.

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In a Twitter post, Hill informed that Rushdie was off the ventilator.

The 75-year-old was placed on a ventilator after major surgery was conducted to treat injuries sustained when he was stabbed by 24-year-old Hadi Matar onstage during an event on Friday at the Chautauqua Institution. Post-surgery, Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie told The New York Times that the author would likely lose an eye, the nerves in his arm were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged.

Also Read: Who is Hadi Matar, the man dressed in black who attacked Salman Rushdie?

Matar was charged with attempted murder and assault. However, he has pleaded not guilty. 

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Matar, who hails from Fairview, New Jersey, for attempted murder second degree (B Felony) and assault second degree. According to the New York State Police, Matar was processed at State Police, Jamestown and "remanded without bail" in the Chautauqua County Jail.

Prosecutors said Rushdie was stabbed roughly ten times, adding that the attack was premeditated and targeted. They further claimed that Matar travelled to the "intellectual retreat in western New York by bus and purchased a pass that allowed him to attend" the talk "Rushdie was to give on Friday morning". 

The attack drew shock and condemnation from global leaders and literary giants. United States President Joe Biden was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the "vicious" attack on the author.

"Salman Rushdie -- with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for the story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced -- stands for essential, universal ideals. Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear. These are the building blocks of any free and open society. And today, we reaffirm our commitment to those deeply American values in solidarity with Rushdie and all those who stand for freedom of expression," Biden said.

"We, together with all Americans and people around the world, are praying for his health and recovery. I am grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who jumped into action to render aid to Rushdie and subdue the attacker," he added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "appalled" to learn about the attack on Rushdie. A statement issued on Friday by his spokesperson said that violence is in no way a response to words spoken or written by others in their exercise of the freedom of expression and opinion.

Also Read: Authors, celebrities and well-wishers condemn barbaric incident

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