WE MATTER! Abducted children in Tunisia

This video features the case of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi, and highlights the disjointed rhetoric of politics and diplomacy where the lives of innocent American children are at stake. Further details can be found at www.returnushome.com or www.facebook.com/returnushome.

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Call to Action (September 5, 2012)

Hi All,

I have not written much over the past few weeks as there hasn’t been much to write about. As many of you know, a judgment in our case was delayed from July 13 to September 18. At the moment, we are simply waiting the next court date and praying for a final judgment.

The summer has proven a little adventurous and a little taxing. Each day that passes brings a new dimension to the emotional struggle we all have been experiencing since the abduction occurred. I am astonished at the children’s ability to both cope with and comprehend the situation, but am terribly saddened that at their young ages they must wrap their minds around the complexities of abduction. Please join me in praying over their precious hearts and minds.

As for me, I’ve been interviewing for work and continue to await an opportunity to generate an income while we remain here. Otherwise, I am keeping myself busy with other means of supporting our efforts. That is intentionally cryptic, and as I often say, I cannot wait for the day that I can share the details. Until then, please know that every single effort you have made on our behalf has made a tremendous difference. When Eslam, Zainab and I arrive home in the U.S., it will most certainly be due to the support that each of you continues to give us.

With that said, I am writing once again to ask that you assist us by contacting both your own Senators and Representatives, and some specific Senators, per the message below (NOTE: There are 5 items below).

As always, and most sincerely, THANK YOU!

With love and appreciation,
Édeanna (Eslam and Zainab)

1. Please copy and paste the following into the subject line of a new email message:

Urgent Request for follow-up: 2 US children hostage in Tunisia

2. Please copy and paste the following email addresses into the address line (these are the legislative aides to the Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee):

amber_bland@barrasso.senate.gov, andrew_keller@foreign.senate.gov, ann_norris@boxer.senate.gov, chad_kreikemeier@shaheen.senate.gov, chris_homan@durbin.senate.gov, chris_socha@risch.senate.gov, chris_sullivan@isakson.senate.gov, damian_murphy@casey.senate.gov, halie_soifer@coons.senate.gov, jodi_herman@menendez.senate.gov, joel_starr@inhofe.senate.gov, katharine_beamer@cardin.senate.gov, lydia_morgan@demint.senate.gov, marta_mclellanross@webb.senate.gov, matthew_padilla@tomudall.senate.gov, michael_mattler@foreign.senate.gov, miriam_harmer@lee.senate.gov, stacie_oliver@corker.senate.gov, victor_cervino@rubio.senate.gov

3. Please copy and paste this message into the body of the email and add your name below “Sincerely,” (note that there are media links that should be included in this pasted message):

September 5, 2012

Dear Senator,

I am writing again to seek your immediate assistance in obtaining the return of 2 abducted American children being held hostage in Tunis, Tunisia. You may recall that on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, the FBI listed Faical Chebbi on the Most Wanted Fugitives list for international parental kidnapping. The State Department, the US Embassy in Tunisia, and the FBI have been working diligently since November 2011 to obtain the return of Eslam (6) and Zainab (3) Chebbi, who were abducted during a court ordered weekend visit with their father.

Imagine if someone you loved swept you away on vacation to a foreign country and then detained you, and prohibited you from contacting anyone you know or love. The world would not hesitate to act on the violation of your human rights. I am asking for you to act, without hesitation, to protect the human rights of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.

Your efforts on behalf of these American children have helped, but more must be done. As the Chebbi’s await another court hearing on September 18, 2012, it is clear that further advocacy from you, President Obama, and Secretary Clinton are essential to ensuring that these innocent children come home.

I am asking you to advocate on behalf of Eslam, Zainab, and their mother, Édeanna Chebbi with the Tunisian government, immediately. Highlight this issue as the human rights violation that it is and make it clear that through Tunisia’s response to this case it is setting a precedent with relations between our two countries.

Ten months after their abduction, Eslam and Zainab remain without constant contact with either parent. Édeanna remains in Tunisia since January 2012, but is allowed overnight contact with only one child at a time. Each day that passes Eslam and Zainab suffer the mental, emotional and physical turmoil of this abduction. Each court delay, each passive response from the government, increases the suffering of two innocent children who are anxious to return to their family and home in the United States.

I am begging again for your immediate intervention, in any manner, on behalf of Eslam, Zainab and Édeanna with the Tunisian government.

Sincerely,

4. Please use this link to find the contact page for your U.S. Senator.

5. Copy the letter from 3. (above) and paste in a message to both of your U.S. Senators.

Call to Action (June 12, 2012)

Hi all,
I’m writing again to seek your immediate assistance to obtain congressional and Presidential support for our case.  There are 2 action items in today’s request:

1.

  • Please use this link to find the contact page for your U.S. Senator.
  • Then, copy and paste this message in the content area of the contact form (select Foreign Relations/Foreign Affairs as the subject/topic).

Don’t forget to insert your Senator’s name at the top, and your name at the bottom of the letter! And be sure to change the Senator’s name for each of your two state representatives.

2.

  • Then, copy and paste this message in the content area of the contact form (select “Homeland Security” as the subject).

Don’t forget to add your name to the bottom of the letter.  (There is a word limit indicated, but the form appears to accept the message regardless.  Please let us know if you have any trouble with submission).

As always, your support means a tremendous deal to us.  Thank you again and again for adding your voices to our struggle!

Sincerely,
Edeanna

P.S. Don’t forget to WATCH and SHARE our latest video, WE MATTER!

WE MATTER – Call to Action (May 31, 2012)

Hi all!

I hope you’ve had a chance to view and share our new video, WE MATTER.

We are nearing 7 months since the abduction of Eslam and Zainab, and are nearly 5 months in Tunisian court without a first ruling.  Although the Tunisian authorities have delegated their response to their courts, we remain adamant that Eslam and Zainab’s return is a matter for political and diplomatic remedy.  The custody and legal authority regarding these babies were made in the United States in January 2011, by mutual consent of both their father and me.  The law has already spoken.

The U.S. FBI has issued a warrant and extradition request for the arrest of the children’s father for the criminal act of kidnapping.  The children have been listed on yellow alert through Interpol as missing.  Courts in the State of Maryland and Virginia have issued orders for the immediate return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi, using any force necessary.  All of these items are relevant and actionable in our case.

Together we have made an impact. Let’s continue the fight to bring Eslam and Zainab home. Join me in demanding that both the U.S. and Tunisian authorities utilize every means of political and diplomatic authority to see the return of Eslam and Zainab to the U.S. where they belong.

As always, please act, and then share this message with everyone you know!

Thank you,

Edeanna

P.S.  If you’d like to support us financially, please hit the “Donate” link on the right. All contributions help to cover the cost of living, legal costs, and other expenses incurred in the fight to bring Eslam and Zainab home.

 

1.    Please copy and paste this message to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Remember to sign your name at the bottom.

 

2.      Please copy and paste this message to the Tunisian Minister of Justice, Noureddine Bhiri, and e-mail to: info@e-justice.tn, info@ism-justice.nat.tn and minjus.ism@email.ati.tn.  Remember to sign your name at the bottom.
(You can also print, sign and fax this letter to: +216 71 568 106)

3.      Please view our new video, WE MATTER, and spread it far and wide! Remember to use the social buttons and “like” the video as well!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @returnushome, and on Facebook!

Message to Tunisian Minister of Justice Bhiri (May 31,2012)

Dear Minister Bhiri,

I am writing on behalf of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.  It is now 7 months since their abduction to Tunisia without resolution.  There are enforceable warrants and orders for the return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi that have been submitted to your office for enforcement.

I am asking that you act immediately and definitively to ensure that the judicial magistrate rule on these warrants and enforce them for the return of these children to their home in the U.S.

My tax dollars are presently supporting your government’s efforts at democratization.  There is no democracy without human rights.  Please respect the rights of these American children, and use all of your authority to ensure their immediate return to the U.S.

Thank you,

Message to Secretary Clinton (May 31,2012)

Secretary Clinton,
I am writing on behalf of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi (OCS 2011 319 2852).  It is now 7 months since their abduction to Tunisia without resolution.  There are enforceable warrants and orders for the return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi that have been issued to the Tunisian government.

Given the vast amount of U.S. tax dollars contributed to the Republic of Tunisia, I am asking that you use all the powers of diplomacy in your capacity, to ensure that the Tunisian government respond to and enforce any Federal or State issued court order pertaining to the return of these U.S citizens.

Thank you,

Update and Request for Action

Hi all,
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written.  I have been holding off in hopes that I could provide some specific news.  However, I am still limited to reporting general information, and again seeking your assistance.

We continue to fight legally to obtain a judgement to recognize the U.S. judgments as Tunisian law, so that I may return home with the babies.  Because legal avenues continue to prove lengthy, I am revamping efforts to solicit congressional support.  This is a brief request for help (below), but will be followed by more in the coming days.

We continue to seek your thoughts and prayers. Additionally, I’m asking that you assist our efforts by acting on and forwarding this message to all of your contacts on our behalf.

My sincere thanks for your support and love through this entire process.  Tomorrow marks 6 months since my babies were taken from the life we miss and desire to return to.  Let’s make sure it’s a date commemorated with action and advocacy on their behalf!

All the best,
Edeanna

Please Copy and Paste this letter to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and send at: http://www.democraticleader.gov/contact  (REMEMBER to sign your name at the bottom)

Please Copy and Paste this letter to Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, and send at: http://www.diplomatie.gov.tn/index.php?id=353&L=2  (REMEMBER to sign your name at the bottom)

Additionally, if you are on Twitter, please subscribe to @returnushome, and copy and paste the following tweet (or retweet from @returnushome):

Advocate against child abduction to Tunisia: http://wp.me/p26atV-3H @keithellison @JohnKerry @SenatorCardin @ForeignAffGOP @RepWOLFPress

***Feel free to also forward the tweet to any person, representative or group you believe may advocate for us!

Keep up-to-date via our webpage: returnushome.wordpress.com and on facebook at: www.facebook.com/returnushome

Advocacy Letter – Tunisian Minister of Foriegn Affairs

Please Copy and Paste this letter to Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, and send at: http://www.diplomatie.gov.tn/index.php?id=353&L=2  (REMEMBER to sign your name at the bottom)

 

Dear Minister Rafik Abdessalem,

I am writing on behalf of Édeanna M. Chebbi, the left-behind parent of two U.S. citizens, Eslam (5) and Zainab (3) Chebbi, who were abducted to the Republic of Tunisia in November 2011.

As you are well aware, Édeanna has been fighting a legal and diplomatic battle for the return of Eslam and Zainab to the U.S. since their abduction six months ago.  It is my intention to express my deep concern for the human rights of these two children and seek your assistance for their return.  The case of these two children has already been resolved in the competent courts of authority in the United States, the country of their habitual residence prior to this abduction.  Their immediate return to the their home is simply a matter of active diplomacy and respect of the human rights afforded in a system of democracy.

The number of abducted children from the U.S. to Tunisia has seen a rapid increase within the past 6 months.  Returning Eslam and Zainab will make it clear to both the U.S. as any ally, and to the perpetrators of this heinous crime, that Tunisia stands for the rights of the child in such cases.

I am sure you are aware of the substantial monetary contribution that the U.S. is prepared to make to Tunisia in the coming months via proposed congressional bills (S. 618: Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund Act) and the reported commitment of support from Secretary Hillary Clinton ($1 million of aid through the IMF).  I hope that you are also familiar with the proposed legislation, HR 1940.

HR 1940 is an important piece of legislation to left-behind parents, and amongst its many provisions is the right of the President to withhold distribution of monetary contributions to any country “engaged in a pattern of noncooperation regarding unresolved cases of international child abduction or denial of rights of access.”

I am highly in favor of proposed bill HR 1940, and desire to ensure that the financial contributions provided for in S. 618 not be compromised by the lack of action taken by the Tunisian government to return U.S. citizens who are illegally abducted to your country.

I appreciate your attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,

Advocacy Letter – Congresswoman Pelosi

Please Copy and Paste this letter to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and send at: http://www.democraticleader.gov/contact  (REMEMBER to sign your name at the bottom)

Dear Congresswoman Pelosi,

I am writing on behalf of Édeanna M. Chebbi, the left-behind parent of two U.S. citizens, Eslam (5) and Zainab (3) Chebbi, who were abducted to the Republic of Tunisia in November 2011.  I understand that you recently led a congressional delegation to Tunisia where you met with top governmental officials to discuss the country’s progress toward democratization.

Édeanna has been fighting a legal and diplomatic battle for the return of Eslam and Zainab for six months.  We are thankful for support given by Senator Barbara Mikulski and Ambassador Susan Jacobs during visits to Tunisia in 2012.  While the efforts of these esteemed representatives have been both heartwarming and impactful, more advocacy is needed to ensure the return of these children, and the children of more than 4 other parents who have also been abducted to Tunisia since November 2011.

I am sure you are aware of the substantial monetary contribution that the U.S. is prepared to make to Tunisia in the coming months via proposed senate bill, S. 618: Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund Act.  Additionally, you may be aware that Secretary Hillary Clinton is reported to be seeking $1 million in U.S. aid through the IMF on behalf of the Republic of Tunisia.  Finally, it is my hope that you are familiar with the proposed legislation, HR 1940.

HR 1940 is an important piece of legislation to left-behind parents, and amongst its many provisions is the right of the President to withhold distribution of monetary contributions to any country “engaged in a pattern of noncooperation regarding unresolved cases of international child abduction or denial of rights of access.”

Congresswoman Pelosi, I am seeking your advocacy to the Tunisian Ambassador, Mohammad Tekaya; the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Rafik Abdessalem; Prime Minister Jebali; and President Marzouki, for the immediate return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.  I ask that you emphasize a desire to ensure that the financial contributions provided for in S. 618 not be compromised by the lack of action taken by the Tunisian government to return U.S. citizens who are illegally abducted to their country. Additionally, I hope that you will support HR 1940 when it comes before you in Congress.

I appreciate your attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,

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