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Rushdie attacker pleads not guilty


Author Salman Rushdie was attacked with a knife on the open stage. The public prosecutor's office is taking action against a 24-year-old American for attempted murder. The suspect denies his guilt.

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Uncredited / dpa

The man suspected of repeatedly stabbing writer Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty.

His court-appointed lawyer told the Reuters news agency.

Prosecutors had charged the 24-year-old with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault.

Second-degree murder is a separate offense in the US legal system for the death of a human being.

He can be sentenced to years in prison in New York State.

According to the police, the suspect is being held in custody with no possibility of being released on bail.

When asked for comment on the case, the defendant's attorney said, "We're still in the early stages, and frankly I think it's important in cases like this that people have an open mind." There was a motive for the crime no further information.

Rushdie was attacked and seriously injured at an event in Chautauqua, western New York, on Friday.

According to US media, the 75-year-old continued to be treated in a hospital in Erie in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania on Saturday.

He was operated on for several hours and put on a ventilator, said his literary agent Andrew Wylie.

He cannot speak and will likely lose an eye.

In addition, nerve cords in his arm were severed and his liver damaged, it was said.

The horror is great worldwide.

US President Joe Biden, for example, reiterated the importance of freedom of expression after the assassination.

The British-Indian author was not intimidated and stood for "essential, universal values" such as truth, courage and resilience, explained Biden.

These are the building blocks of any free and open society.

"And today we reaffirm our commitment to these deeply American values ​​in solidarity with Rushdie and all those who stand up for freedom of expression." Chancellor Olaf Scholz also strongly condemned the knife attack.

On Twitter, Scholz spoke of a "disgusting act" and wished Rushdie a lot of strength for recovery.

"The world needs people like you who are not intimidated by hate and fearlessly stand up for freedom of expression."

Rushdie has been persecuted by religious fanatics for decades.

In 1988, the then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for the author to be killed.

He accused Rushdie of insulting Islam, the Prophet and the Koran in his novel The Satanic Verses.

Rushdie had to go into hiding and was given police protection.

  • Here you can read an interview with the journalist Günter Wallraff, who once hid Rushdie at home under the highest security precautions: “He wanted to stand up to his enemies”


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-08-13

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