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Salman Rushdie attack: Suspect charged with attempted murder

Hadi Matar, 24, is accused of attacking the writer at event in NY state and has been held without bond.

Published On 13 Aug 2022

A guy suspected to be in charge of the attack against author Salman Rushdie at a meeting in NY state has been charged with attempted murder and has been held without bond, the Chautauqua County District Attorneys Office has said.

Jason Schmid, the countys district attorney, said in a statement on that Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, NJ, was brought before a court late on Friday on charges of attempted murder in the next degree and assault in the next degree.

Matar entered a not-guilty plea throughout a court appearance on Saturday. Matar appeared in court wearing a monochrome jumpsuit and a white nose and mouth mask. His hands were cuffed before him.

State and federal police agencies were attempting to understand the look and preparation that preceded the attack and determine whether additional charges ought to be filed, Schmidt said.

Matar was created in the usa to Lebanese parents who emigrated from Yaroun, a border village in southern Lebanon, the mayor of the village, Ali Tehfe, told The Associated Press news agency.

Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and torso on stage at a lecture on Friday. After hours of surgery, his agent, Andrew Wylie, said he previously suffered a damaged liver, severed nerves within an arm and a watch, and was on a ventilator and struggling to speak. He was also more likely to lose an injured eye, Wylie said.

The Indian-born bestselling author has lived with a bounty on his head since 1989, when Iran urged Muslims to kill him over his novel The Satanic Verses.

NBC NY reported a preliminary police overview of Matars social media marketing accounts showed he was sympathetic to Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The official from Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah said on Saturday that the group had no more information on the stabbing attack against novelist Salman Rushdie.

Several Iranian newspapers heaped praise on the one who attacked Rushdie, but Tehran didn’t issue the official reaction.

Police on Friday said that they had not yet established a motive for the attack.

The 75-year-old novelist had been introduced to provide a speak to an audience of hundreds on artistic freedom once the attacker rushed to the level and lunged at him.

Michael Hill, the president of the Chautauqua Institution and the host of the function, said Matar had obtained a pass to enter the premises like other visitors. In accordance with NBC NY, he was carrying a fake licence on him during the arrest.

Event moderator Henry Reese, 73, was also attacked. Reese suffered a facial injury and was treated and released from the hospital, police said.

Authors, activists and government officials condemned the attack and cited Rushdies courage for his longtime advocacy of free speech regardless of the risks to their own safety.

Rushdie is well known for his surreal and satirical prose style, you start with his Booker Prize-winning novel from 1981, Midnights Children, where he sharply criticised Indias then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The Satanic Verses drew death threats after it had been published in 1988, with many Muslims regarding as blasphemy a dream sequence in line with the life of the Prophet Muhammad, among other objections.

Rushdies book had recently been banned and burned in India, Pakistan and elsewhere before Irans Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 decree calling for Rushdies death.



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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