Salman Rushdie off ventilator, agent says

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Salman Rushdie off ventilator, agent says

Salman Rushdie, the author who was hospitalized on Friday Aug 12 with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed in public on a public appearance in New York state, is off a ventilator and his condition is improving, his agent said on Sunday.

It will be long, the injuries are severe, but his condition is headed in the right direction. Rushdie, 75, was about to give a lecture on artistic freedom at Chautauqua Institution in western New York when police say a 24 year-old man rushed the stage and stabbed the Indian-born writer who has lived with a bounty on his head since his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses prompted Iran to urge Muslims to kill him.

Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, was pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault at a court appearance on Saturday, his court-appointed lawyer, Nathaniel Barone, told Reuters.

After hours of surgery, Rushdie had been put on a ventilator and was unable to speak as of Friday evening, Wylie said in a prior update on the novelist's condition, he was likely to lose an eye and have nerve damage in his arm and wounds to his liver.

Wylie didn't give any more details on Rushdie's health in his email on Sunday.

The stabbing was condemned by writers and politicians around the world as an assault on freedom of expression. President Joe Biden praised the universal ideals of truth, courage and resilience embodied by Rushdie and his work in a statement on Saturday.

Biden said these are the building blocks of a free and open society.

Neither the local nor federal authorities offered any additional information on the investigation on Saturday. The police said on Friday they had not established a motive for the attack.

An initial law enforcement review of Matar's social media accounts showed that he sympathized to Shi'ite extremism and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC, although no definitive links had been found, according to NBC New York.