Syria Deeply: Peace Talks Kick Off on Shaky Ground in Geneva

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the weekly Syria Deeply newsletter. We’ve rounded up the most important stories and developments about Syria and the Syrians in order to bring you valuable news and analysis.

Peace Talks Kick Off on Shaky Ground in Geneva

Delayed talks between the Assad government and representatives of the Syrian opposition began in Geneva today. But with major opposition players missing and fresh government gains on the ground, the prospects of ending the five-year civil war seem slim.

Anatomy of a Siege: The Story of Madaya

The siege of Madaya began in July 2015, but global pressure on the Syrian government to allow humanitarian access didn’t begin to build until nearly 30 people had died of starvation. Why did it take so long, and why was aid only delivered once during the first six months of the siege?

Geneva and the Growing Irrelevance of Syrians

The peace talks between the Assad government and representatives of the Syrian opposition are to begin today, but Syrians have little faith in any positive outcome, because non-Syrians are dictating the parameters of the discussion, writes Middle East analyst Sharif Nashashibi.

More Recent Stories to Look Out for at Syria Deeply

Failed Peace Talks Are a Death Sentence for Syrians

Turkey and Russia’s Proxy War and the Kurds

YPG-PKK Connection Spells U.S.-Turkey Friction

My Life Outside Syria: Diary Entry 56

Putin Has Won Big in Syria, Europe is Embracing Him

Find our new reporting and analysis every weekday at
You can reach our team with any comments or suggestions at


Eli Rosenbaum Seeks To Have Former Nazi Deported

By Samuel Miller
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America and Oceania

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States of America — For over 35 years, director of Human Rights Enforcement Strategy and Policy Eli Rosenbaum has dedicated his career to prosecuting former Nazis. The human rights office got its start after congressional and public pressure prompted the Justice Department to try to track down former Nazis who had moved to the United States.

Rosenbaum has become the Justice Department’s best-known ‘Nazi Hunter’, assisting the Justice Department pursue 137 cases against suspected Nazis, of which 107 were successful in stripping citizenship or deporting these individuals.

After 35 years of service, Mr. Rosenbaum finds himself with just one active case: Jakiw Palij. Even more peculiar is that the 92 year-old suspected former guard at a Nazi concentration camp will most likely die in the United States, without answering for his alleged crimes against humanity.

Perhaps the most frustrating element for lawyers and researchers such as Rosenbaum working on the cases similar to the case of Jakiw Palij is that under U.S. law, the most that the court allows them to do is to deport former Nazis. Trying them for the actual crimes against humanity is something that has been left for authorities in other countries.

A federal judge ordered Palij deported in 2004, but none of three European countries to which he could be sent would take him. In court filings, Palij denied wrongdoing, claiming that he and other young men in his Polish hometown were coerced into working for the Nazi occupiers.

In the case of Palij, Rosenbaum said to CNN: “What Mr. Palij did prevented other people from reaching old age. He served at the Trawniki SS training and base camp — really a school for mass murder — and he trained on live Jews at the adjacent Trawniki Jewish Labor Camp. And, in the end, everyone who was held there was massacred.”

The atrocities of the Trawniki camp, where Palij worked, aren’t well known in part because the killing was thorough, and kept off official documents. The Trawniki training camp was dismantled in July 1944, due to the advances of the Soviet Red Army.

Though it remains unlikely that Mr. Palij will be deported from the United States, Mr. Rosenbaum remains undeterred to see justice served to those responsible for such a tragic and unforgettable act, stating he believes that he owes it to the victims of the Holocaust to bring every person responsible to justice.

For more information, please see:

CNN — U.S. Nazi hunter has one active case — 27 January 2016

Mercer: Latin America to Reach Gender Workplace Parity by 2025

By Kaitlyn Degnan
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

LONDON, UK — Mercer’s second annual “When Women Thrive” report has identified Latin America as the only region globally on track to reach gender workplace parity at the professional level by 2025.

According to the report, in Latin America, women account for 17 % of executives today, but current hiring, promotion and retention rates projects that that number will rise to 44% in 2025. Women’s representation at the professional level is 36%, rising to 49% by 2025.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet (L) and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (R). (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

The study also reports that Latin American women are twice as likely as men to be promoted from the senior manager level, and more likely to be promoted from every level.

Worldwide, women hold 28 % of profit and loss roles, breaking down to 47 % in Latin America, followed by 27 % in Asia and 25 % in Australia/New Zealand. Women only represent 22 % of profit and loss roles in the US and Canada and only 17% in Europe.

The study is based on a survey of 583 organizations in 42 countries (representing Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas), accounting for 3.2 million employees.

Pat Milligan, Mercer’s global leader of the “When Women Thrive” initiative called the under-representation of women in the workplace an “economic and social travesty.” Julia Howes, a Mercer principal involved with the project, said that although there has been focus on women at the top, the main issue is the lack of female talent pipelines.

Women are set to make up 40 % of the professional workforce by 2025. Most regions of the world “won’t even be close to gender equality” within the next 10 years.

For more information, please see:

Forbes – Women: Under Representation is an Economic and Social Travesty – 26 January 2016

Mercer – 2016 Global When Women Thrive Report – 26 January 2016

Business Standard – Failure to build talent pipeline threatens women’s workplace progress, says Mercer report – 27 January 2016

Irish Times – Latin America Expected to top women at work rankings – 27 January 2016 

Reuters – Latin America to top professional working women league by 2025 – Mercer – 27 January 2016

Voice of America – Study: Latin America to Lead with Number of Professional Working Women by 2025 – 27 January 2016

Press Release: Pro-Kremlin Russian Nationalist Politician Calls for Rendition of William Browder to Russia

28 January 2016 – Pro-Kremlin Russian nationalist politician, Eduard Limonov, has publicly called for the illegal rendition to Russia of UK-based Putin critic William Browder.

“The task of our special services is to catch Browder and bring him in a sack to Russia,” Eduard Limonov told to the pro-Putin news agency “Novy Den.” ?(

This is the second illegal rendition threat against Mr. Browder emanating from Russia. In the summer of 2014, Mr. Browder received a warning from the US Department of Justice of a similar Russian threat. The threat related to actions being put in place to “find” Mr Browder in London and “potentially return” him to Russia.

This most recent threat came just as Browder called on British Prime Minister Cameron to impose travel sanctions and asset freezes on senior officials in the Putin regime in response to the finding of the Russian state’s complicity in the Litvinenko murder which endangered lives of others in Britain.

In an open letter in the Guardian, William Browder said:

You can’t undo an act of state-sponsored terrorism on British soil from 2006, but for the long-term safety and security of everyone in Britain you must act in a way that leaves no doubt that the UK government will not be cowed. You must stand firm and ensure serious consequences for anyone who dares to repeat such an atrocious act on British soil.“(

Last month, on 15 December 2015, Russian General Prosecutor Chaika lashed out against William Browder, accusing him of working with Western special services to destabilise Russia by producing a corruption expose against the Russian General Prosecutor.

“I have absolutely no doubts that this mendacious movie has been ordered by W. Browder and intelligence services who are standing behind him… There is a global purpose – to compromise the Russian Prosecutor General, his regional subordinates, and once again to denounce our country as… the country worthy of economic and other sanctions,” said Russian General Prosecutor Chaika. (

Mr Limonov has become an outspoken supporter of Russian President Putin. This week, he tried to dismiss the expose of corruption involving Vladimir Putin as “part of US war against Russia.”?