Alleged suspect pleads ‘not guilty’ to stabbing of novelist Salman Rushdie

Image - Salman Rushdie: andersphoto/shutterstock

Hadi Matar, 24, stabbed Indian-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie fifteen times in Western New York on Friday, causing severe injuries which led Rushdie to be placed on life support. has reported that Matar has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges of attempted murder and assault in court yesterday, according to his court-appointed lawyer, Nathaniel Barone. 

Rushdie remains in hospital in Erie in the American neighbourhood of Pennsylvania although has been taken off the ventilator and is now able to talk, medical professionals have informed

Police have said Matar attacked Rushdie whilst he was on stage at the Chautauqua Institution delivering a lecture on artistic freedom. Now an atheist, Rushdie grew up in a liberal muslim family and has long been under surveillance by Iranian Islamic fundamentalists since his novel ‘The Satanic Verses” was published in 1988. 

When Rushdie was first admitted to hospital, his agent revealed that he was likely to lose an eye due to severe nerve damage. The novelist also had severed nerves in his arm and suffered a damaged liver after being stabbed fifteen times. 

A reason has yet to be concretely established for the stabbing and Matar’s lawyer has urged people to remember “to keep an open mind”. He has said that people “can’t just assume something happened for why they think something happened.” 

Several celebrities have expressed compassion for what Rushdie has endured. English comedian David Baddiel described it as “appalling what has happened to Salman Rushdie” on twitter. 

Even French president Emmanuel Macron took to the social media platform to express how “for 33 years, Salman Rushdie has embodies freedom and the fight against obscurantism. He has just been the victim of a cowardly attack by the forces of hatred and barbarism”. 

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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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