British writer of Indian origin Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck. It is reported by BBC News. The 75-year-old author was attacked during a lecture in New York. The police said that he was taken by helicopter to the hospital, but details about his condition were not specified.
On August 12, 2022, around 11 a.m., a suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and the interviewer. Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and was taken by helicopter to the district hospital. Nothing is known about his condition yet. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury.
The attacker was immediately arrested. According to an eyewitness, he ran onto the stage during the writer’s speech and struck him several times. Those present in the hall did not immediately realize that the man had a knife in his hands, some of them thought that Rushdie had been punched. Police are currently investigating the incident and establishing the attacker’s motives. His identity has not yet been revealed.
According to the Daily Mail, Rushdie was attacked at the Chautauqua Institute. He planned to give a lecture on the US and tell how this country is becoming a place for self-expression and a refuge for artists in exile. The publication claims that after the incident, all those present in the hall were immediately evacuated, and Rushdie was helped to leave the stage.
In an interview with BBC News, one of the eyewitnesses of the incident, Karl Levan, admitted that all visitors to the event were shocked by what had happened. He was sitting between the 14th and 15th rows when he saw that a man ran onto the stage from the left and stabbed Rushdie several times. Other eyewitnesses said that the assailant wore a black mask and struck the author 10-15 times. PEN, a human rights NGO that brings together professional writers, poets and journalists, issued a statement in connection with the attack on Rushdie.
PEN America is recovering from the shock and horror of news of the brutal attack on our former president and ally Salman Rushdie, who was reportedly stabbed while performing on stage at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York. . We cannot recall a single similar case of a public and brutal attack on a writer on American soil,” the organization’s Twitter account says, Lenta.ru writes.
- The writer was born on June 19, 1947 in Bombay. In 1981, he won the Booker Prize for Midnight’s Children, and in 1988 he released his fourth book, The Satanic Verses, which provoked protests by Muslims in several countries at once. Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in which he called the murder of the writer a charitable deed, after which the UK took Rushdie under protection. The situation led to a break in diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran.
- Following the release of The Satanic Verses, the Iranian 15-Khordad Foundation announced a $2.5 million reward for Rushdie’s murder. The author was forced into hiding for many years and rarely appeared in public. He lived alternately in the United States, then in Britain. Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated that the death sentence against the writer would remain unchanged.
- In 2007, on the occasion of the birthday of the Queen of Great Britain, Salman Rushdie was awarded a knighthood, which again led to protests from Muslims. In 2016, Iranian media added a $600,000 surcharge to the price of killing the author.