Salman Rushdie lost sight in one eye and use of one hand after stabbing, officer says


Salman Rushdie lost the sight in one eye and the use of one hand following an onstage attack at a literary event in western New York in August, his agent has said.

Andrew Wylie, who represents literary giants such as Saul Bellow and Roberto Bolano, described the extent of the injuries Rushdie suffered in the “brutal” attack in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Wylie described the author’s injuries as “profound” and noted the loss of sight in one eye.

“He had three serious neck injuries. A hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were severed. And he has around 15 other injuries to his chest and torso.”

The agent declined to say whether satanic verses The author, 75, was still hospitalized more than two months after police said a 24-year-old New Jersey man stabbed the writer in the neck and chest just before Rushdie gave a talk at the Chautauqua Institution, a retreat about 12 miles from Lake Erie.

In this still image from video, Rushdie is carried on a stretcher to a helicopter to be transported to hospital following the August 12 attack in Chautauqua, NY. His agent recently declined to say whether the 75-year-old remains in hospital. (The Associated Press)

The novelist was rushed to hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the attack, including nerve damage to his arm, liver damage and the probable loss of an eye, Wylie told the era.

The attack came 33 years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran’s supreme leader, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to assassinate Rushdie a few months later. satanic verses has been published. Some Muslims have seen passages in the novel about the Prophet Muhammad as blasphemous.

Hadi Matar, the man accused of assaulting the novelist, has pleaded not guilty to attempted second degree murder and assault. He is being held without bond in a jail in western New York.

Rushdie, who was born in India to a Kashmiri Muslim family, lived with a bounty on his head and spent nine years in hiding under the protection of British police.

A man wearing a COVID-19 mask and a prison-issued shirt listens during a hearing.
Hadi Matar is charged with attempted murder and assault on Rushdie. He is presented during a hearing on August 13 at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, NY. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

As President Mohammad Khatami’s pro-reform Iranian government drifted away from the fatwa in the late 1990s, the multi-million dollar bounty hanging over Rushdie’s head grew steadily and the fatwa n was never lifted.

Khomeini’s successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was suspended from Twitter in 2019 for saying the fatwa against Rushdie was “irrevocable”.