Stabbed author Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator, is alert and able to speak, his agent has revealed.
Rushdie, 75 years old, was rushed to hospital on Friday after he was attacked on stage at a conference near Buffalo, New York. The author was reported to have been stabbed up to 15 times by his assailant, who mounted the stage in front of a crowd of hundreds to attack Rushdie.
Rushdie’s agent previously informed media that his client was in a critical condition, that he was likely to lose an eye, and had also suffered damage to his arm and his liver.
The author has lived for decades with threats to his life, following the publication in 1988 of his novel The Satanic Verses, which some deemed to be anti-Islamic and blasphemous.
He was forced to go into hiding for many years after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa against the author, with a multi-million dollar bounty on his head.
Meanwhile, the man who stabbed Rushdie has been charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. He was arraigned last night at Chautauqua County Jail in New York.
Press were barred from the hearing, where the suspect, Hadi Matar, was remanded without bail after pleading not guilty.