Wikileaks, the website that has published hundreds of thousands of sensitive secret government files and diplomatic cables, said it will temporarily suspend publication of such classified files due to financial problems.
The announcement follows what the group described as a “blockade” by American finance companies, which refuse to process donations to the group.
Instead, Wikileaks assured that it will resume publication of diplomatic documents after it raises enough funds to sustain its operations.
Julian Assange, the founder of the website, told reporters that since last December, various U.S-based financial firms, including Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union, had imposed an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade on the whistle-blower.
In statement, the website declared: “WikiLeaks has published the biggest leaks in journalistic history. This has triggered aggressive retaliation from powerful groups.”
Assange added: The attack [by finance firms] has destroyed 95 percent of our revenue.”
He also said the organization has lost tens of millions of dollars in lost donations at a time of unprecedented operational costs. A handful of U.S. finance companies cannot be allowed to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket.”
Assange added that his entity needs to aggressively fund-raise in order to fight back against this blockade and its proponents.”
The website added: “The blockade… [is]as part of a concerted U.S.-based, political attack that included vitriol by senior right wing politicians, including assassination calls against WikiLeaks staff. The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency. As a result, WikiLeaks has been running on cash reserves for the past eleven months.”
Separately, Assange has introduced a legal bid to prevent his extradition from Britain to Sweden, where he faces claims of sexual assault.