Two days after he fatally stabbed British writer Salman Rushdie during a conference in the US, his condition has improved. His assailant, a young American of Lebanese descent, pleaded “not guilty” to “attempted murder” of the man of letters.
Salman Rushdie is fine and talkative, his son and his agent said on Sunday. Aged 75, he is no longer on life support and “the road to recovery has begun,” his agent, Andrew Wylie, said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Salman Rushdie was stabbed a dozen times on Friday, a year after the publication of “The Satanic Verses”, a 1989 “fatwa” from Iran that outraged the West but was hailed by extremists in Iran. and Pakistan.
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“The injuries are serious, but his condition is moving in the right direction,” said Andrew Wylie, a close associate of the “Satanic Versus” author.
His son Zafar Rushdie confirmed on Twitter that his father “managed to speak a few words” on Saturday and that he “kept his sense of humor intact”. The Rushdie family said they were “overwhelmed”.
Salman Rushdie has been hospitalized in Erie, Pennsylvania since Friday. According to the New York Times on Saturday evening, citing a cautious Andrew Wylie on Friday, the famous author, British and naturalized American, began speaking out again.
Attacker “not guilty”
The man, who is on trial for “attempted murder and assault,” appeared in a black-and-white striped prison uniform without saying a word. [Ap Photo]
The attacker of Salman Rushdie, a young Lebanese-American, was brought before a New York state judge, before whom the writer pleaded “not guilty” to “attempted murder.”
During a formal hearing at the Chautauqua courthouse, the 24-year-old man, accused of ‘attempted murder and assault’, appeared handcuffed and masked and didn’t say a word, according to New York Times (NYT) and local press photos.
Prosecutors said Friday’s attack was planned. The suspect, who lives in New Jersey, will appear again on August 19.
Joe Biden condemned the attack
The attack caused shock waves, especially in the West: US President Joe Biden condemned “a brutal attack” and paid tribute to Salman Rushdie for “refusing to be bullied into silence”.
After living in New York for 20 years, Salman Rushdie resumed an almost normal life, maintaining satire and irreverence in his books.
Coincidentally, the German magazine Stern interviewed him a few days before the attack: “Because I live in America, I have no problems (…) My life is back to normal,” assures the writer. , in the interview, which will be published in full on August 18, says he remains “hopeful” despite “daily death threats”.
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Lack of reaction from the Iranian government
The Iranian government has not officially responded to the attack on Salman Rushdie, but several hard-line Iranian newspapers have praised his attacker.
Thus, the main ultra-conservative Iranian newspaper “Kaihan” on Saturday congratulated the British writer Salman Rushdie who stabbed him in the United States the day before yesterday. “Congratulations to this brave and dutiful man who attacked the traitorous and cruel Salman Rushdie,” wrote the newspaper of the boss appointed by the Iranian Supreme Leader. “Let us kiss the hand of him that tore the neck of God’s adversary with a knife”, the text continues.
An Iranian newspaper said the attack was a US conspiracy
The Javan newspaper also evokes the hypothesis of a conspiracy hatched by the Americans: “Another scenario is that America wants to spread Islamophobia in the world”, adds Javan. For the Kayhan daily, “The attack against Salman Rushdie showed the weakness of US intelligence and proved that even strict security measures cannot prevent attacks”.
“The attack on Salman Rushdie proves that it is not difficult to avenge criminals on American soil. Now (former President Donald) Trump and (former Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo will be more threatened,” the newspaper said.
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