Toronto, 2004-05-01; an Open Letter

Dear Faiza, Raed, Khalid, Majid:

Your wonderful Web logs at have helped many of us understand the human cost of the American-led invasion. Our hearts have been breaking for you over the past weeks. But we are now driven to still deeper shame and horror as we read in this week's press of sexual sadism at the American-administered Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and of other allegations regarding misconduct among British interrogators in the south of your country.

Something must be done. We cannot rely on national governments to do it. The initiative has to come from private citizens, like the four of you near the field, or like me and my friends in Toronto, or like the many cultural and scientific workers in North America, Australia, and Europe with whom I am in e-mail contact. I have some experience in handling 1980s USSR human-rights abuses through UNESCO in the framework of a procedure designed to receive private-citizen complaints. If you are interested, please read, perhaps even print out and disseminate, the full explanation of the relevant UNESCO mechanisms which you will find in the 'Technical' section of my Web site,, mirrored at Then get in touch, or have your colleagues get in touch, either with UNESCO directly or with me.


Dr Toomas (Tom) Karmo