Forty state-run media outlets in Iran have come together to announce a $600,000 bounty for the death of Salman Rushdie, renewing the fatwa issued against him in 1989. Fars News Agency, which maintains a close relationship with the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is reportedly putting up the largest amount—around $30,000 or 1 billion Rials.
There is still a $3 million reward for his death which was fixed in 1989 by Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.
Rushdie gained notoriety after writing the book The Satanic Verses in 1988. It sparked huge controversy across the Islamic world, with Rushdie being accused of blasphemy by Khomeini.
He was given police protection and went into hiding to avoid being killed, however some of the others involved in its publication were not able to survive the anger of those who opposed it.
Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator, was killed outside his office at Tsukuba University, while the Italian translator, Ettore Capriolo, narrowly escaped with his life after being stabbed in Milan.
The book’s Norwegian publisher survived an assassination attempt in Oslo after being shot in the back three times.
The new reward appears to be the biggest effort since 1989 to kill the author.