The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said in a Facebook post on Saturday that the US sanctions imposed on herself and ten other officials are “so carelessly executed” that even her address stated in the announcement was wrong.
Her comments were posted soon after Facebook said it would bar those sanctioned from using paid advertising tools on the social media platform from now on.
In her post, Lam also said that her US visitor visa is due to expire in 2026.
“Since I personally do not look forward to visiting this country, it looks like I can take the initiative to cancel it,” she said in the post, which comes with a photo of her smiling – apparently taken near Capitol Hill.
Lam said her address announced along with the sanctions was Victoria House – which was her residence during her time as the SAR’s Chief Secretary.
“Doesn’t the responsible US official even know the Chief Executive lives in Government House on Upper Albert Road?” she wrote.
Some officials, including herself, had their SAR passport numbers revealed, but others did not, Lam noted.
“Such carelessness reminds me of how the US government spelt the name of Edward Snowden wrong when they submitted the documents requesting his extradition,” she added, referring to the former US National Security Agency contractor who hid in Hong Kong briefly after leaking information about the US government’s mass surveillance programme.
Lam suggested the US government could have violated human rights protection, as they may have used the SAR officials’ personal data from past visa applications to process the sanctions.
Meanwhile, Facebook told RTHK that Lam and the other ten sanctioned officials are now barred from using any of its advertising tools
Responding to RTHK’s inquiry on Saturday, a spokesman for the social media platform said it is legally obliged to take action against any users on the US Treasury Department's sanction list of “Specially Designated Nationals (SDN)”.
The company’s terms state that anybody designated as SDN cannot “engage in commercial activities on Facebook (such as advertising or payments) or operate a Platform application or website.”
“You will not use Facebook if you are prohibited from receiving products, services, or software originating from the United States,” it stated.