After Assange's arrest, Wikileaks' funding was cut off when MasterCard, Visa and PayPal among others stopped processing payments to the site because they feared they helped fund illegal activity. As a result about 95 percent of the donations were blocked, according to Wikileaks, slowing down the process of leaking documents.
Wikileaks filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission to dispute the blockade, said WikiLeaks representative Kristinn Hrafnsson, speaking at a separate news conference in Stockholm. Both news conferences were webcast.
Hrafnsson hopes the Commission will launch a formal investigation of the payment processors and order them to begin processing donations again. He expects an announcement within three weeks.
Wikileaks has also filed complaints in Iceland, where Hrafnsson also expects a decision within three weeks, and in Denmark, where a hearing is scheduled later this year, he said.
Media and human rights lawyer Jen Robinson, who co-hosted the news conference in Sweden, emphasized that no other media organizations are blocked by the card companies, while for instance The Wall Street Journal hosts a site similar to Wikileaks. It is very hard to challenge the ban, because the ban is imposed by the companies themselves, and not ordered by the U.S. government, she said.
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