Author Salman Rusdhie, attacked yesterday before a lecture in New York, was stabbed 10 times during the attack.
According to “Jornal Nacional” (TV Globo), the blows to Rushdie were delivered to several places on his body, such as the neck, stomach, chest, thigh and eye.
Authorities also identified the suspect in the assault: Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from the Fairview district of New Jersey (USA). He was immediately taken into custody by a police officer working at the scene and formally charged with attempted murder and assault.
In court, prosecutors said the attack on the author was premeditated and targeted. Matar traveled by bus to the intellectual retreat in western New York and bought a pass that allowed him to attend Rushdie’s Friday morning lecture, according to the New York Times.
‘News is not good’
After the attack, Rushdie was taken to a hospital by helicopter. According to agent Andrew Wylie, he is on a respirator and is likely to lose an eye.
In a note sent to the New York Times, the representative said yesterday that the author cannot speak and that the news “is not good”.
Salman will likely lose an eye. His arm nerves were cut and his liver was stabbed and damaged.
Writer’s agent Salman Rushdie
The attack on the author had repercussions around the world. The French newspaper Charlie Hebdo last night published a letter of support for Rushdie.
French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke out. “His fight is ours, universal”, he declared on Twitter, guaranteeing that he was “today, more than ever, by his side”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked that Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed while exercising a right we must never fail to defend”, referring to freedom of expression.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres revealed through his spokesman that he was “horrified” by the attack, adding that “in no way was the violence a response to words”.
“This act of violence is appalling,” said security adviser to the President of the United States, Jake Sullivan.
Salman Rushdie, 75, an Anglo-Indian author who received death threats in Iran in the 1980s for his publications, was stabbed as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.
The attack was witnessed by an Associated Press reporter, who saw a man storm the stage of the institution where Salman was to lecture and begin punching and stabbing him, as the perpetrator was introduced, according to the BBC.
Witnesses stated that the perpetrator managed to get off the stage with help and the attacker was contained.
Salman was participating in a discussion about the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression.
The author’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for Salman’s death, with a reward being offered.