Julian Assange expresses surprise over EU WikiLeaks decision

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November 28, 2012 by newsgetting

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has expressed surprise after the European commission said a block on processing donations for his organisation by credit card companies was unlikely to have violated EU anti-trust rules.
The Australian, speaking from Ecuador’s embassy in central London, where he has been staying since June to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations, said the blockade had wiped out 95% of WikiLeaks’ revenues.
He claimed that documents released by the commission showed that far-right politicians in the US were behind the blockade.
He said it was a surprise that the commission was not opening a formal investigation, but pledged that WikiLeaks would continue to fight the blockade.
DataCell, a company that collected donations for WikiLeaks, complained to the commission about Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe and American Express after they stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December 2010.
Their decisions followed criticism by the US of WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables.
Assange, at his first press briefing inside the embassy, said: “It is concerning that hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure Visa and Mastercard into introducing a blockade that the US treasury has rightly rejected.”
The commission’s preliminary decision is expected to be followed by a final decision in the next few weeks.
Assange said the blockade had cost WikiLeaks $50m (£31m).
He criticised rightwing US politicians for applying an “economic death sentence”.
He said he was grateful to the Ecuadorean embassy for “protecting” him and over the granting of political asylum.
“My stay here in the Ecuador embassy, while difficult in many ways, at least I am able to continue my work to some degree.”

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