Rushdie Off Ventilator; EU Foreign Policy Panel Condemns Attack on Satanic Verses Author

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Saturday that he "strongly" condemns the attack on writer Salman Rushdie.

"International rejection of such criminal actions, which violate fundamental rights and freedoms, is the only path towards a better and more peaceful world", Borrell said in a tweet.

Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie Twitter

In the latest update, Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator. Reports also said the acclaimed author has started talking. Chautauqua Institution, where the Rushdie was stabbed, said the author Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator. Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie also confirmed the news, according to the Washington Post.

Rushdie was attacked on stage on Friday by a suspect, who police have identified as Hadi Matar. The assailant from New Jersey is reported to have "with sympathies toward the Iranian government." Matar, 24, has been sent to prison after he pleaded not guilty at an arraignment.

Hadi Matar
Hadi Matar being attested after allegedly stabbing Salman Rushdie Twitter

It was reported earlier that Rushdie would survive but was likely to lose an eye after the brutal stabbing. "The news is not good ... Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," the 75-year-old writer's agent, Andrew Wylie, had told The New York Times.

Rushdie was at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, which is located about 55 miles south of Buffalo, when the attack happened.

According to the institute, he was supposed to speak about the US as a safe haven for writers who are in exile and a location where they can use their right to free speech. Rushdie has been the subject of death threats from the Iranian regime since 1989, after he published his novel Satanic Verses, which was critical of the Quran and the Prophet Mohammad.

Salman Rushdie stabbed
Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and had to be airlifted to the hospital Twitter

A video of the attack shows how Matar without care went on to the stage and started stabbing Rushdie, while hundreds of people in the audience watched in horror. There were about 2,500 individuals in the audience at the time of the attack. A state trooper assigned to the presentation arrested Matar at the scene.