Salman Rushdie Off Ventilator, Able To Talk

OB Bureau

New York: Author Salman Rushdie has been taken off ventilator and was able to talk on Saturday, his agent confirmed, The Guardian reported.

Fellow author Aatish Taseer tweeted on Saturday evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking)”, which was confirmed by Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie, according to the report.

US President Joe Biden praised Rushdie for “his refusal to be intimidated or silenced” and said the author stood for the essential ideals of truth, courage and resilience. “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,” the President said in a statement, according to The Guardian report. Biden also said he was “shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious attack”.

The suspect Hadi Matar (24) from Fairview, New Jersey, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault in court, which denied him bail.

Rushdie was stabbed at least twice on stage Friday before he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.

The suspect jumped onto the stage and stabbed Rushdie at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen.

Rushdie was airlifted from a field adjacent to the venue to a hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The author of 14 novels was to speak at the event about the importance of the US offering asylum to writers and other artists in exile.

The attack on Rushdie comes over 33 years after the fatwa issued against him by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

On February 14, 1989, Khomeini called for Rushdie’s execution for writing “The Satanic Verses”, which he said insulted Islam.

A $2.8-million bounty was put on the writer’s head.

OB Bureau

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