Salman Rushdie

15 August 2022

We were appalled by the attempted murder of Sir Salman Rushdie on Friday – a man who for many years has spoken out for persecuted writers and defended freedom of expression.

We stand with every author and their right to create freely. None should find themselves under personal attack or under threat of attack for their words and work.

Commenting on the attack, SoA chief executive Nicola Solomon said:

The hateful attack on Salman Rushdie has shocked the SoA community. This assault against one man was also an assault on the creative process, and on authors’ rights to express ideas and opinions, and to tell stories.

Perhaps an attack like this is rare, but sadly the threats, abuse and harassment that many authors receive is not. For every high-profile death threat – like those targeted at J K Rowling only hours after the attack on Rushdie – scores of others go unreported.

We condemn every type of personal attack on authors for exercising their rights to express themselves freely – whether physical, verbal, legal or political.

Our thoughts are with Rushdie and his family.

Joanne Harris, chair of the SoA Management Committee, said:

The horrific attack on Salman Rushdie has left the literary world distressed and shaken. No-one should suffer violence - or threats of violence - for making art, writing stories. As fellow authors and as human beings, this act diminishes us all.

We wish Salman Rushdie well as he begins his recovery.