A noted artist has been locked up in Saudi Arabia’s notorious Al-Ha’ir Prison after unveiling a large, bronze and generally unflattering sculpture of the country’s ruler right in the middle of downtown Riyadh.
“I was on my way to Chop Chop Square to watch a mass execution of adulterous female goats when all of a sudden I see a giant statue of our beloved leader staring at me. Whose sick idea was it to have a 30m-high figure of King Salman holding a woman on a leash?” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Arts and Censorship Arfan Al-Haj said.
In response to the jailing of Saudi sculptor Salim Kareem Aladdin, King Salman noted, “Justice has been served. So what if we don’t allow women to vote, swim, drive, wear makeup or show their hands in public? We recently lifted the ban on women shaving their legs without a male relative’s approval: that’s progress. We’ve come a long way, baby!”
Regarding the issue of free speech in his kingdom, the Saudi monarch was cautiously optimistic: “The convicted sculptor will receive 50 lashes for insulting Islam. But if he happens to survive, he will stagger out of prison as an international human rights celebrity. With a bit of luck, that son of a bitch may just wind up being adopted by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.”