BEIRUT: Major Suzan Hajj Hobeiche was removed Tuesday from her position as head of the Anti-Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Bureau, in the wake of her latest Twitter activity, which showed support for Lebanese film director Charbel Khalil’s post ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s royal decree allowing women to drive.
Khalil took to Twitter to voice his opinion regarding the decree, jokingly claiming that women in Saudi Arabia were only allowed to drive if the car was booby-trapped, prompting the now embattled major to like the post.
However, Hobeiche has maintained her innocence in this situation, releasing a statement outlining her version of the story by asserting that she accidentally liked the filmmaker’s tweet, believing that it held a positive connotation regarding women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.
After realizing the true meaning behind the tweet, Hobeiche claims to have quickly unliked Khalil’s post, but not before an individual was able to capture a screenshot of her online activity, sharing it on the social network.
Hobeiche has now filed a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office in Mount Lebanon while also calling for an investigation.
According to sources who spoke to Annahar, her removal came as no surprise, as Hobeiche’s relationship with General Director of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), Major Imad Osman, has slowly deteriorated, with the former becoming a distraction after drawing unnecessary media attention on numerous occasions.
Hobeiche, who was appointed as head of the Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Bureau in 2012, has a long history of sharing her political views on social media and sparking controversy, as this behavior is deemed in violation of the ISF’s internal guidelines and rules of conduct.
Sources also confirmed to Annahar that Hobeiche was reprimanded more than once, but failed to heed the warnings of her superiors as she continued to voice her political views on Facebook and Twitter while calling for reform and an end to the corruption plaguing Lebanon’s political elite.
In a now-deleted tweet, the outspoken Major echoed her disgruntlement, asserting that “Lebanon needs officials and citizens working for the country’s collective good and not for their own self-interest.”
The vacant post has now been filled by Lt. Albert Khoury.
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