Sydney: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has
blasted top payment companies from behind bars for blocking
donations to his website, saying he was determined to continue
revealing government secrets.
Assange singled out three global giants which have
stopped money sent to his website, credit card companies Visa
and MasterCard and the Internet payment firm PayPal, in a
statement from prison to Australian television on Tuesday.
"We now know that Visa, MasterCard and PayPal are
instruments of US foreign policy. It`s not something we knew
before," he said in a statement to Channel 7 dictated to his
mother Christine Assange for the station.
"I am calling on the world to protect my work and my
people from these illegal and immoral acts."
Assange said he was more determined than ever to publish
thousands of sensitive documents on his whistleblowing website
which has sent shockwaves around the world with the release of
confidential US diplomatic cables.
"My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the
ideals I have expressed," Australian-born Assange, 39, said in
the brief statement.
"These circumstances shall not shake them. If anything,
this process has increased my determination that they are true
Assange`s mother has travelled to London to be with her
son, where he is accused of sexual assault alleged to have
taken place in Sweden.
While she was not able to see her son face-to-face, he
spoke to her on the telephone for 10 minutes, telling her that
he was being kept in a basement cell in solitary confinement.
It was the first time the pair had talked since the
former hacker surrendered to British police on December 7
after Sweden issued a European warrant for his arrest so that
he can be questioned on rape allegations.
Julian Assange also told his mother that prison
surveillance cameras were monitoring his cell because of fears
for his safety, Australia`s Sunshine Coast Daily reported
after speaking with Christine Assange in London.
WikiLeaks began the release of what is set to total some
250,000 US cables late last month, prompting condemnation from
around the globe, including from the Australian government
which has slammed the release as irresponsible.
In the wake of their release, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal
suspended all payments to WikiLeaks earlier this month,
prompting its supporters to knock offline the websites of
credit card giants.
PayPal, which has said WikiLeaks was involved in
activities deemed illegal by the US government, later said it
would release all of the remaining funds in an account set up
to raise money for the site but that it would no longer accept
donations for WikiLeaks.