Salman Rushdie lives but loses use of eye and hand says agent

Author Salman Rushdie at a signing for his book 'Home', in London, June 6, 2017
Author Salman Rushdie at a signing for his book 'Home', in London, June 6, 2017   -  Copyright  Grant Pollard/2017 Invision
By euronews  with AP

The author Salman Rushdie has reportedly lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand after being savagely attacked in August at a literary event in New York. 

According to the British writer's agent Andrew Wylie, Rushdie suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 more injuries to his chest and torso when a man rushed on stage during the event.

Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, has been jailed after pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault in the Aug. 12 attack on Rushdie as he was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution, a rurally located center 89 kilometers southwest of Buffalo that is known for its summertime lecture series.

After the attack, Rushdie was treated at a Pennsylvania hospital, where he was briefly put on a ventilator to recover from what Wylie told the Spanish daily El Pais was a “brutal attack” that cut nerves to one arm.

Wylie told the newspaper he could not say whether Rushdie remained in a hospital or discuss his whereabouts.

“He's going to live ... That's the important thing,” said Wylie. "You can't protect against it because it's totally unexpected and illogical,” he added.

Ever present danger

The attack was along the lines of what Rushie and his agent have thought was the “principal danger ... a random person coming out of nowhere and attacking," Wylie told El Pais.

Rushdie, 75, spent years in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 edict, a fatwa, calling for his death after publication of his novel “The Satanic Verses,” which some Muslims consider blasphemous. Over the past two decades, Rushdie has traveled freely.

In a jailhouse interview with The New York Post, Matar said he disliked Rushdie and praised Khomeini. Iran has denied involvement in the attack.

Wylie told the newspaper it was like Beatles member John Lennon's murder. Lennon was shot to death by Mark David Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment building Dec. 8, 1980, hours after the singer had signed an autograph for Chapman.