Letter: Making the world safe for Salman

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Sir: Just for the record, when Salman Rushdie and I met the French Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, and the Foreign Minister, Alain Jupp -not, as you report in "Rushdie may get fatwa-free zone in EU" (11 April), President Franois Mitterrand -last month, we understood the plan to include a European initiative to request a global guarantee of safety, not a fatwa- free zone.

This is confirmed by the text agreed in Luxembourg yesterday. A ceasefire period would be carefully monitored before political and economic links with Iran were strengthened.

We do not see the plan that was announced by the European Union yesterday as an alternative to the repeal of the fatwa but as an important step forward in the process.

Salman Rushdie has insisted that the guarantee of safety also be extended to his associates, who remain at risk.

Yours faithfully,


Article 19

London, N1

11 April