Saturday update from Tunisia

So today was not so successful in terms of seeing the kids. I did speak to Eslam for a minute. Their father bought a stretch limo before he left the states and shipped it to Tunisia. For Zainab’s birthday they threw a party inside of it today. As I know my temper will fly around him, I opted to wait until they were done and request to see the kids before they go home. I was refused outrightly unless I was to submit to being in the car with them or be in their home. 2 options I refused. After multiple requests to see the children at a cafe near the house before they go in for the night, i was finally told by their father that HE is in control of this situation and I must do as he says. We’ll see about that. For now, I will continue to pursue the requests to meet the children in public or at a neutral location where their father and I don’t need to interact, but that the children and I can be together. It’s sad to watch someone back themselves into the smallest crevice holding hostages. But we all know, and Tunis all too well, that dictators fall, fast and hard. Keep praying, and I’ll keep you updated.

-Edeanna Chebbi

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Update from Tunisia

Happy Birthday to Zainab! She got her birthday wish: MOMMY!!!! Yes, I am in Tunisia and now their father is aware of it. I did see the children today. We went to their school. After it seemed they were allowing us to leave with the kids, turns out they weren’t. I had them call their father. He met us there. I’ll save the details of the day until I have time to write further. For now, just know tha…t two beautiful babies know that nothing will keep their mother away, and that God does answer their prayers. They are not with me this evening, by my own choice, so as not to traumatize them with another “snatching”. I did, however, put them to sleep tonight (at their aunt’s house), and will continue to see them. Details will not be given about the status of the process until it is complete, so as not to compromise the process. I know that this is cryptic and it is intentionally so. Rest assured, I will keep you posted with all the beautiful blessings. In the meantime, please keep up your prayers. I may be asking for more messaging, and will post a note soon. Until then, God bless you all! – Edeanna

Update on Children Kidnapped by Tunisian Father

http://www.care2.com/causes/update-on-children-kidnapped-by-tunisian-father.html

Fifth Call to Action

Dear friends,

We have gained lots of momentum thus far. You all have been TREMENDOUS in your support, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The road to seeing my babies is taking its toll emotionally, but I am assured we will be reunited soon!

In the process of advocating for the children’s return it has been pointed out to me that there is one strong body of international law that both Tunisia and the U.S. have ratified.  That is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As of yet, to my knowledge, this Convention has not been used as a tool to advocate for the return of Eslam and Zainab.  While the House and Senate both push for a bill to contribute 4billon U.S. dollars to aid the transition and development of Tunisia, I believe it unconscionable to support this effort while Tunisia is in violation of mutual international conventions. (Copies of the bills can be found at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1388,  or http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.2237: )

At this time, I’m asking everyone’s help to utilize the most beautiful power granted to citizens in a democratic country: your voice! Please take a few moments to do the following:

1. Write your Senators!

– Find your Senators via: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

–  Find the contact page for each

– Copy and paste the message below – edit the text as you desire, or write your own message

Add his/her name at the top, and your name at the bottom (where indicated)

– Let your voice be heard!

Dear [Insert Senator or Congressman’s Name],

I am writing to ask that you vote NO on any legislation, including H.R. 2237 and S. 1388, pertaining to economic assistance to the Republic of Tunisia.  I am deeply concerned that the United States Congress is willing to support aid to a country that presently holds two U.S. children in violation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi, a Tunisian and U.S. dual citizen, abducted Eslam Chebbi (5) and Zainab Chebbi (2), to Tunisia.  At the time that he obtained passports for the children, he had granted sole physical and legal custody to his now ex-wife, Édeanna M. Chebbi.  Not only did Faical have no legal guardianship when he applied for and received Tunisian birth certificates and passports for the children, but there were also court orders in effect stating that neither parent shall remove either child from the U.S.

Their father is a naturalized U.S. citizen, their mother is a U.S. citizen (for generations).  Both children, born in the State of Maryland, have only ever lived in and been citizens of the U.S. until Faical illegally registered them as Tunisian citizens in 2011, without their mother’s consent.

Two American children were literally abducted from this country by virtue of foreign laws, applied via an embassy in the U.S.  A man’s DNA literally determined his ability to abduct two American children from this country illegally.  There is incredible injustice to every American in that!

As a member of your constituency, I am asking that you withhold a vote of support for any assistance to the Republic of Tunisia until it complies with any or all of the international covenants to which it has pledged.

Furthermore, I am asking that you write to both the Tunisian Ambassador, Mohammed Tekaya, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and demand that both countries enforce our mutually ratified conventions for the safe and speedy return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi to their mother, family, friends, and home in the United States.

Further information regarding the Chebbi case may be obtained via the Department of State, case number OCS 2011 319 2852.  A privacy act waiver is on file with the caseworker for any member of U.S. Congress.

I thank you for acting speedily and conscientiously in sending correspondence to Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Tekaya, and any other relevant authorities to seek the safe and speedy return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi to the United States.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]

2. Write your Representatives!

– Find your Representatives via: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

–  Find the contact page for each

– Copy and paste the message above – edit the text as you desire, or write your own message

Add his/her name at the top, and your name at the bottom (where indicated)

– Let your voice be heard!

3. Send a message to Secretary Clinton (http://contact-us.state.gov/app/ask).  Ask that she utilize every means, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to advocate for the return of Eslam and Zainab!

A copy of my own message to Secretary Clinton may be found at:

https://returnushome.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/personal-letter-to-secretary-clinton/

As always, thank you for everything that you all do! Every voice makes a difference!

Best,

Édeanna

Personal letter to Secretary Clinton

Dear Secretary Clinton,

I am disheartened that stronger diplomatic pressure has not been placed on the issue of the kidnapping of two U.S. citizens, Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.   After discovering that the U.S. and Tunisia have both signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child I have no comprehension as to why this has not been used as a means for negotiating the return of Eslam and Zainab.  The articles of this convention are such that they are the strongest means of clear mutual argument for the safe and speedy return of my babies!

I am asking that you recall that Eslam and Zainab have always been U.S. citizens and that their receiving Tunisian citizenship and passports were both crimes against United States law, the only law governing these babies.  When their father, Faical Chebbi, applied for and obtained Tunisian status for these children, he did so as a U.S. citizen bound by U.S. law, for two U.S. citizens whom he had no legal authority over, by virtue of his own decisions.  The Civil Court of Maryland in Prince George’s county issued a court order preventing either parent – Faical or I – from removing either child from the United States.  Virginia and U.S. warrants for the arrest of Faical have been issued based on the fact that he violated U.S. law by virtue of kidnapping Eslam and Zainab from the United States.

Tunisian family law is NOT the only means of advocating for the return of my babies.  This is indeed an incredible issue for the elected and appointed powers of the United States, and particularly the Department of State, to advocate for and demand remedy on this kidnapping.

The further I go to fight for the children’s return, the more I ask myself, where is my country in all of this? Where is the United States that is offering billions of dollars in aid to Tunisia in advocating for their compliance with international legal covenants set up to protect us from this very situation?  Where is the concern over two U.S. citizens who were literally kidnapped from this country by the aid of foreign laws applied at an embassy in the U.S.?

Secretary Clinton, I am asking for a personal response as to the efforts being made by the United States with Tunisian governmental authorities to obtain the return of my dear babies, Eslam and Zainab.

Sincerely,

Edeanna M. Chebbi

Delivered via http://contact-us.state.gov/app/ask (no email or other means of viable contact available)

US Issues Arrest Warrant for Tunisian-American Accused of Abducting His Children

http://www.tunisia-live.net/2012/01/09/us-issues-arrest-warrant-for-tunisian-american-accused-of-abducting-his-children/

Fourth Call to Action: January 6, 2011

Good afternoon all,

Here’s a true call to action.  Please act on and then forward this message to all of your contacts, everywhere in the world.  We are making true progress! For detailed updates, please visit us on Facebook!

 

1. Please copy and paste the entire message below (please add your name after “with appreciation”) and email to the following two addresses:

dg.tap@tap.info.tn

mae@diplomatie.gov.tn

Dear respected members of the Tunisian government,

I am writing on behalf of Édeanna Chebbi, in regards to her two children, Eslam Chebbi (5) and Zainab Chebbi (2).  On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi, a Tunisian and American citizen, illegally abducted the two children from the United States.  On January 5, 2011 Faical granted Édeanna full legal and physical custody of Eslam and Zainab in the United States.  Faical and Édeanna were legally divorced in the United States on October 26, 2011, without contest.

When Faical applied for Tunisian documents, he had no legal or physical rights to Zainab or Eslam.  Every step that Faical made to leave the United States with Eslam and Zainab violated the laws of this country – including obtaining Tunisian passports.  Additionally, both parents were under a court order not to remove the children from the United States.

Édeanna has been fighting for the return of Eslam and Zainab to the United States since she became aware of the abduction.  Presently there are both State and Federal warrants issued in the U.S. both for the return of the children and for the arrest of Faical Chebbi.  This fight now brings itself to Tunisia as she and the children have been re-victimized and are being required to submit to the language and laws foreign to them in Tunisian family courts.

Édeanna is attempting to comply with Tunisian law in obtaining the safe and speedy return of the children to their home in America. I am writing to ask for your assistance in ensuring that the rights of Eslam and Zainab are preserved and that justice prevails in the new Tunisian system.

I ask that you contact the American Embassy in Tunisia to inquire further about this case and utilize your full means to help return Eslam and Zainab to their home, their family and friends, and their mother, Édeanna Chebbi.

Additionally, I am including an open letter written by Édeanna to President Marzouki.  I ask that you ensure the delivery of this letter to the President.

With appreciation,

Letter to the President of the Republic of Tunisia to Return Abducted American Children Eslam and Zainab Chebbi

January 5, 2012

Dear President Marzouki,

I write to request your full and immediate attention to the matter of the kidnapping of two U.S. citizens, Eslam Chebbi (5) and Zainab Chebbi (2).  By now you and your staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice are fully aware of this case.  On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi, the children’s father and a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States of America, departed for Tunisia with Eslam and Zainab, declaring never to return them home.

For 2 years I lived in fear of the retaliation of an abusive ex-husband.  I followed the rule of justice in the United States to ensure the safety of both my children and myself.  Following a consensual agreement to the terms of divorce and custody, I was still threatened by Faical that he would take our children and live in Tunisia.  A country, he claims, cares not about me or the laws of the United States.  A sentiment echoed by the staff and consulate of your embassy here, in Washington, DC.

Were it not for the neglect and disrespect of the staff at your embassy in Washington, DC, my babies would be home today.  After months of calling your embassy to prevent this kidnapping, I only received curt and hurtful statements: “We are Tunisia, the laws of your land don’t matter here,” or “Your custody makes no difference to us, if their father is Tunisian, he has the only right to your children.”

A member of the embassy staff was provided and made photocopies of every legal document pertaining to the custody of Eslam and Zainab, including a court order that neither child shall be removed from the United States.  I was told they would be placed in Faical’s permanent file at the embassy.  Regardless, First Secretary, Yessine Salah, explains that Faical applied for and received Tunisian birth certificates for Eslam and Zainab, who were then awarded passports (documents I have requested a photocopy of, and have yet to be provided).  Using those passports Faical was able to abduct Eslam and Zainab from the United States to Tunisia.

President Marzouki, Faical came to the United States, chose a life in the United States, and had a family in the United States.  He even became a citizen of the United States.  In this country, we married and divorced.  In this country, Eslam and Zainab were born.  In our courts, I fought for and received a protective order against Faical that allowed me and my children to escape his abuse.  Faical neglected any opportunity to fight for his children in the United States.  He freely signed custody of Eslam and Zainab to me in January of 2011.  And after being ordered to pay child support in November of 2011, he fled to Tunisia with my babies.

When Faical applied for Tunisian documents, he had no legal or physical rights to Zainab or Eslam.  Every step that Faical made to leave the United States with Eslam and Zainab violated the laws of this country – including obtaining Tunisian passports.  He fled to Tunisia as a criminal.  And he should be made to stand up to the decision he made as well as the charges brought against him for the heinous act of international kidnapping.

I have fought for the protection of my children through courts in the United States.  And now, because the powers of diplomacy are afraid to protect us, I am reduced to fight for them again in your courts – in a state where I have no comprehension of the laws or the language.  I will not cease to utilize every means of diplomacy and law to fight for my children, but I ask: where is your allegiance to human rights and justice in this?

President Marzouki, where are the rights of my small babies, Eslam and Zainab?  Where are my rights as a mother?  Must a matter of international justice rest upon the family courts of Tunisia? Are my children and I so insignificant to you and your new democratic government that the laws and rights that protected us in the United States mean nothing?  Is Tunisia committed to welcoming home an international criminal and kidnapper?  Is this the message you wish to convey to your citizens and the world that is watching?

Tunisia has overcome nearly 24 years of oppression under the dictatorship of former President Ben Ali.  As the world rejoiced at the overthrow of that regime, so too did Eslam, Zainab and I.  President Marzouki, I celebrated your election, and look to you as an example of a leader committed to the principles and ideals of democracy and justice.  I applaud your life commitment to human rights and belief in peaceful justice.  I too share those same ideals.

I pray upon your conscience President Marzouki, to reflect genuinely on the plight of two small children who have been abducted from their mother and all that is known and beloved to them.  And equally on a mother who is utterly lost without her children.

Your reputation is one of commitment to international justice.  I pray that you will show the United States; more than 18,000 international supporters; Eslam, Zainab, and me; and the citizens of your country, that Tunisia is truly committed to the rights and dignities afforded in a democratic system.

In closing I ask that you:  Return Eslam and Zainab to me and their home in the United States, and require Faical to stand responsible for his decisions and face the charges brought against him for international kidnapping.

In solidarity,

Édeanna M. Chebbi

Mother Rallies for Kidnapped Children at Tunisian Embassy

http://oakton.patch.com/articles/mother-rallies-for-kidnapped-children-at-tunisian-embassy

Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Tunisia to Return Abducted Children Eslam and Zainab Chebbi

Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Tunisia to Return Abducted American Children Eslam and Zainab Chebbi

January 5, 2012

 Dear President Marzouki,

I write to request your full and immediate attention to the matter of the kidnapping of two U.S. citizens, Eslam Chebbi (5) and Zainab Chebbi (2).  By now you and your staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice are fully aware of this case.  On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi, the children’s father and a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States of America, departed for Tunisia with Eslam and Zainab, declaring never to return them home.

For 2 years I lived in fear of the retaliation of an abusive ex-husband.  I followed the rule of justice in the United States to ensure the safety of both my children and myself.  Following a consensual agreement to the terms of divorce and custody, I was still threatened by Faical that he would take our children and live in Tunisia.  A country, he claims, cares not about me or the laws of the United States.  A sentiment echoed by the staff and consulate of your embassy here, in Washington, DC.

Were it not for the neglect and disrespect of the staff at your embassy in Washington, DC, my babies would be home today.  After months of calling your embassy to prevent this kidnapping, I only received curt and hurtful statements: “We are Tunisia, the laws of your land don’t matter here,” or “Your custody makes no difference to us, if their father is Tunisian, he has the only right to your children.”

A member of the embassy staff was provided and made photocopies of every legal document pertaining to the custody of Eslam and Zainab, including a court order that neither child shall be removed from the United States.  I was told they would be placed in Faical’s permanent file at the embassy.  Regardless, First Secretary, Yessine Salah, explains that Faical applied for and received Tunisian birth certificates for Eslam and Zainab, who were then awarded passports (documents I have requested a photocopy of, and have yet to be provided).  Using those passports Faical was able to abduct Eslam and Zainab from the United States to Tunisia.

President Marzouki, Faical came to the United States, chose a life in the United States, and had a family in the United States.  He even became a citizen of the United States.  In this country, we married and divorced.  In this country, Eslam and Zainab were born.  In our courts, I fought for and received a protective order against Faical that allowed me and my children to escape his abuse.  Faical neglected any opportunity to fight for his children in the United States.  He freely signed custody of Eslam and Zainab to me in January of 2011.  And after being ordered to pay child support in November of 2011, he fled to Tunisia with my babies.

When Faical applied for Tunisian documents, he had no legal or physical rights to Zainab or Eslam.  Every step that Faical made to leave the United States with Eslam and Zainab violated the laws of this country – including obtaining Tunisian passports.  He fled to Tunisia as a criminal.  And he should be made to stand up to the decision he made as well as the charges brought against him for the heinous act of international kidnapping.

I have fought for the protection of my children through courts in the United States.  And now, because the powers of diplomacy are afraid to protect us, I am reduced to fight for them again in your courts – in a state where I have no comprehension of the laws or the language.  I will not cease to utilize every means of diplomacy and law to fight for my children, but I ask: where is your allegiance to human rights and justice in this?

President Marzouki, where are the rights of my small babies, Eslam and Zainab?  Where are my rights as a mother?  Must a matter of international justice rest upon the family courts of Tunisia? Are my children and I so insignificant to you and your new democratic government that the laws and rights that protected us in the United States mean nothing?  Is Tunisia committed to welcoming home an international criminal and kidnapper?  Is this the message you wish to convey to your citizens and the world that is watching?

Tunisia has overcome nearly 24 years of oppression under the dictatorship of former President Ben Ali.  As the world rejoiced at the overthrow of that regime, so too did Eslam, Zainab and I.  President Marzouki, I celebrated your election, and look to you as an example of a leader committed to the principles and ideals of democracy and justice.  I applaud your life commitment to human rights and belief in peaceful justice.  I too share those same ideals.

I pray upon your conscience President Marzouki, to reflect genuinely on the plight of two small children who have been abducted from their mother and all that is known and beloved to them.  And equally on a mother who is utterly lost without her children.

Your reputation is one of commitment to international justice.  I pray that you will show the United States; more than 18,000 international supporters; Eslam, Zainab, and me; and the citizens of your country, that Tunisia is truly committed to the rights and dignities afforded in a democratic system.

In closing I ask that you:  Return Eslam and Zainab to me and their home in the United States, and require Faical to stand responsible for his decisions and face the charges brought against him for international kidnapping.

In solidarity,

Édeanna M. Chebbi

Mother Plans Rally to Demand Return of Her Children – Oakton, VA Patch

Mother Plans Rally to Demand Return of Her Children – Oakton, VA Patch.