(Minghui.org) Editor's note: Below is Suzanne Scholte's speech, delivered in person on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 17, 2014, at the rally marking 15 years of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Ms. Scholte is the 2008 Seoul Peace Prize Laureate, president of the Defense Forum Foundation, and chair of the North Korea Freedom Coalition.


Zhu wei zao. (Good morning, everyone.) Thank you to all of you who have gathered here today.  

I am honored to be your friend and colleague. I am glad to be here with you today but deeply saddened that this event has to be held each year, as it has been another year under the Chinese Communist Party's unprovoked and violent campaign of terror against the Falun Gong.

My friends, the Falun Gong, are on the front lines of the fight to end persecution and human rights violations in China. This fight is not of their own choosing, but simply because of the CCP's unprovoked attack against them.

The Falun Gong and other human rights activists have told us about the Laogai ("re-education through labor" camps), but we have ignored the fact that thousands of innocent human beings are being persecuted.

About half of the prisoners in these re-education through labor camps are Falun Gong practitioners.

The Falun Gong warned us about organ harvesting, but people would or could not believe this gruesome and horrific truth.

The fact that we are here again today shows the failure of the United States and the rest of the world to pressure China to end these horrific atrocities against human life.

This reminds me of the poem by German pastor Martin Niemöller, which describes how a rising and growing evil in just one country can not only bring terrible suffering in that country, but will eventually affect the entire world.

Niemoller was a German Christian pastor who initially supported Hitler, until he realized he was supporting great evil. I would like to paraphrase Niemoller's poem to address today's events:

The Chinese Communist Party came after the students, but I was not a student, so I did not speak out;

The Chinese Communist Party came after the Falun Gong, but I was not Falun Gong, so I did not speak out;

The Chinese Communist Party came after the labor activists and the human rights lawyers, but I was not a labor activist or a lawyer, so I did not speak out;

The Chinese Communist Party came after the Tibetans, but I was not Tibetan or a follower of the Dalai Lama, so I did not speak out;

The Chinese Communist Party came after the petitioners, but I was not a petitioner, so I did not speak out;

The Chinese Community Party came after the Uyghurs of East Turkistan, but I was not a Uyghur or a Muslim, so I did not speak out.

Then they came after me - and there was no one to speak out for me.

What a chilling conclusion.

The Chinese Communist Party's persecution is not only affecting the people of China, but it is also responsible for the suffering in Burma and Sudan and North Korea and too many other countries because of its constant support of the murderous dictators and regimes in these countries.

It is not too late if we stand together in one voice to support those who are being persecuted and to encourage those citizens of China who are working for democracy, reform, and human rights.

It is not too late to stop this carnage if we stand together with the citizens of China, whether Falun Gong practitioners, democracy advocates, trade union activists, journalists, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or reformers.

We cannot allow the CCP to crush the hope and potential for a bright, prosperous, and peaceful future for the Chinese people.

Thank you and God bless you for being here. It is not too late, so let us work together for that day, and speak out for all of you and the people in these pictures that we see before us who have been persecuted. It is not too late. Let's work together. Jia You!