Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator and is starting to recover

Author Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed multiple times on Friday, has been removed from a ventilator and is on the mend, his agent said Sunday.

“The road to recovery has begun,” Andrew Wylie said in a text message. “It will be long; the injuries are serious, but his condition is improving.”

Mr. Rushdie, who had lived under Iran’s ban for decades, was attacked onstage minutes before he was due to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute in western New York.

Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man, was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

In court on Saturday, prosecutors said the attack on the author was premeditated and targeted. Mr Matar traveled by bus to the intellectual retreat and bought a pass that would allow him to attend Mr Rushdie’s speech Friday morning, prosecutors said.

Nathaniel Barone, a public defender, pleaded innocent on his behalf. mr. Matar was held without bail, and his next court appearance was scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m

mr. Rushdie was put on a ventilator Friday night after hours of surgery at a hospital in Erie, Pa. mr. Wylie then said that Mr. Rushdie could lose an eye, his liver was damaged and the nerves in his arm were damaged. cut off.

The attack took place in a center dedicated to learn and reflect. A video on TikTok that was subsequently removed showed the chaotic scene just after the attacker jumped onto the stage in the normally quiet setting. Mr Rushdie, who lived relatively openly after years of semi-clandestine existence, had just sat down to give a lecture when a man attacked him.

A crowd of people immediately rushed to the place where the author lay on the podium to offer help. Stunned members of the audience could be seen throughout the amphitheater. While some screamed, others got up and walked slowly to the stage. People began to gather in the aisles. Someone could be heard shouting “Oh my God” repeatedly.

Security at the Chautauqua Institution is minimal. In the main amphitheater, which regularly hosts popular music acts and celebrity speakers, and where Mr. Rushdie, there are no bag checks or metal detectors.

Rushdie had been under threat of an assassination attempt since 1989, about six months after the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses. The book fictionalized parts of the prophet Muhammad’s life with images that offended some Muslims, who believed the novel was blasphemous. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led Iran after the 1979 revolution, issued an edict known as a fatwa on February 14, 1989. It ordered Muslims to kill Mr Rushdie.

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