WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has announced the organization is suspending the publishing of secret documents in order to concentrate on fundraising to ensure its future survival.
At a news conference in London, Assange said a financial blockade by American companies such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal means WikiLeaks will have to aggressively focus on raising funds.
The U.S. companies took the action when WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of classified documents lifted from the computer files of U.S. diplomatic and military operations.
Many of the documents released related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while others were controversial U.S. embassy cables that contained sensitive information and sometimes embarrassing assessments of world leaders.
Assange says WikiLeaks is taking legal action against the blockade, but if it remains, WikiLeaks will “simply not be able to continue.”
Assange is currently free on bail in Britain while trying to avoid being extradited to Sweden for questioning in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct. He has denied the allegations and says the extradition to Sweden is politically motivated. He has voiced fears that Sweden will turn him over to the United States to face charges in the release of the documents.