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Visa cuts off payments to WikiLeaks

LONDON, Dec 7 – Visa has suspended all payments to WikiLeaks, a spokesman for the debit card company said Tuesday, after the website\’s founder Julian Assange was arrested in London.

"Visa Europe has taken action to suspend Visa payment acceptance on WikiLeaks\’ website pending further investigation into the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules," a statement said.

A Visa spokesman told AFP: "This is a decision we have taken ourselves. I am not aware that we have come under any pressure from any government."

Visa\’s rival MasterCard Worldwide took a similar step on Monday.

WikiLeaks, which has enraged Washington by releasing tens of thousands of classified cables from US diplomats, has appealed for donations to be able to continue its activities.

But financial services companies are gradually cutting off the funding.

Assange appeared in a magistrates\’ court in London on Tuesday following his arrest on a European warrant issued by Sweden, where detectives want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual molestation.

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