Al-Akhbar English reports: Wikileaks, the international whistle-blowing website responsible for revealing thousands of secret political and diplomatic documents over the past six years, announced Monday that it was suspending publishing operations in an emergency effort to raise money.
The decision came after what Wikileaks founder Julian Assange calls an “arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” by American banks, including Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union.
“The issue is bigger than Wikileaks. It’s an issue of sovereignty. Is it right, for example, in Lebanon that Visa card holders are controlled by Washington, even though their accounts are in local banks?” Assange said in a phone interview with Al Akhbar. “We have to show the world that cards and PayPal…are instruments of Washington power. They’re all in service for political corruption, it’s literally a conspiracy.”
“Our fight can be summed up in three parts,” Assange said. “First, to fight against censorship. Second, to fight to protect people’s right for knowledge. And third, to fight for unbiased media to truly report what’s going on in the regimes.”
For Assange, Wikileaks’ crisis is especially relevant in the Middle East. “With the changes occurring in the Arab world, it’s not the time to relax, but to make sure democracies are established fully. To do that it is necessary to make sure they are not implicated with the old regimes. Egypt’s battle is ongoing,” Assange said. “[We’re] making sure the battle for democratic regimes is established, [fighting] for the peoples right to communicate.”