Salman Rushdie operated on after being stabbed in the United States

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie, the target of death threats since the publication of “The Satanic Verses” in 1988, is undergoing surgery after being stabbed in the neck on Friday as he was about to take the speaking at a conference in New York State, USA, said her literary agent, Andrew Wylie.

The author was assaulted on Friday by a man who rushed to the dais at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York during the writer’s presentation, a witness said. .

Rushdie, who is 75, collapsed to the ground and was immediately surrounded by a small group of people who tried to help him.

According to the police, he suffered a neck injury and was transferred to a hospital by helicopter.

No precise information on his state of health has been officially communicated. He is alive and “receiving the care he needs,” New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said.

The perpetrator, whose motive is not yet known, was arrested and taken into custody, police said.

On February 14, 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, issued a fatwa (religious decree) calling on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie for his writings, forcing the British author to live in hiding.

The writer was due to participate Friday in a debate devoted to writers and artists who benefit from the right of asylum in the United States to protect “their freedom and their creative expression”, according to the website of the Chautauqua Institution.

Salman Rushdie has lived in New York for 20 years and obtained American citizenship in 2016. His next novel is due out in February.

(Kanishka Singh in Washington, Jonathan Allen, Randi Love and Tyler Clifford in New York and Maria Ponnezhath in Bangalore, French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse and Tangi Salaün, editing by Nicolas Delame)

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