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PEN International condemns attack on Salman Rushdie

Friday 12 August 2022 - 5:47pm

PEN International condemns attack on Salman Rushdie

Update - 15 August 2022

PEN International welcomes news that acclaimed writer, Salman Rushdie, has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk after suffering stab wounds in his neck, stomach, eye, chest and thigh in an attack on Friday, 12th August 2022 in New York.

PEN International extends our thoughts to Salman Rushdie, a beloved member of the PEN community, and wishes him a speedy recovery and quick return to writing.


PEN International is deeply shocked and appalled to learn that former PEN America President, founding member of the PEN International Writers Circle
and renowned writer Salman Rushdie, was attacked today just before giving a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. We utterly condemn the attack and wish him a prompt and full recovery.

According to the latest reports, Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck while being introduced on stage at the Institution. The attacker is believed to have stormed the stage and repeatedly assaulted him. His condition is not yet known.

“PEN International utterly condemns the brutal attack on Salman Rushdie. Salman is an esteemed and celebrated author and beloved member of the PEN community, who has been facing threats for his work for years. No one should be targeted, let alone attacked, for peacefully expressing their views. We wish our dear friend a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family.” – Burhan Sonmez, PEN International President.

Rushdie is the victim of an infamous attack on free speech over the publication of his book The Satanic Verses (1988), when Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death, forcing him to remain in hiding for many years.

PEN International hopes for Salman’s full and rapid recovery and calls for a prompt and thorough investigation into the attack.