Virginia Mother Continues Fight for Return of Kidnapped Children

Virginia Mother Continues Fight for Return of Kidnapped Children

For Immediate Release –  Washington, DC – Return US Home

On Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 1pm, Return US Home will host a second rally at the Embassy of Tunisia in Washington, DC to support the ongoing efforts of a local Virginia woman seeking the return of her two kidnapped children.

The event, Rally for Justice: Voices United for the Return of Eslam and Zainab, is a call for Tunisian authorities to return her American children, Eslam Chebbi (5) and Zainab Chebbi (2), to their home in the USA. Édeanna Johnson-Chebbi, the children’s mother, will make a public statement at the rally regarding the situation.

On November 11, 2011, Mrs. Johnson-Chebbi’s abusive ex-husband, Faical Chebbi, abducted their two small children, Eslam (5) and Zainab (2), to his country of origin, Tunisia.  A few months prior to the abduction, Mrs. Chebbi met with a Tunisian embassy official who assured her that her then-estranged husband would not be able to obtain passports for their children without her permission, as it would violate U.S. law.

A file was created at the embassy in Mr. Chebbi’s name containing copies of former protective orders, an order to not remove either child from the United States, and a mutually consented to legal separation agreement granting her full legal and physical custody of their two children. Despite the embassy’s assurances, Mr. Chebbi was provided with Tunisian birth certificates and passports for both children.

In response to the situation Mrs. Johnson-Chebbi is hopeful that legal authorities in Tunisia will right the wrong that the embassy enabled.  She states, “the old regime of former President Ben Ali has come to an end.  While the embassy is slow to recover, I have faith that the new Tunisian system will not tolerate criminals reliant on a former corrupt regime to protect them.”

Mr. Chebbi is now holding Eslam and Zainab in Tunis, Tunisia at the home of Abdallah and Mbarka Chebbi.  He claims he intends to raise the children there, and will not return the children to the United States.

Because Tunisia is not a signatory to any international agreements they are not required to comply with U.S. laws.  Additionally, the laws in Tunisia dictate that regardless of custody rights, children are not allowed to leave the country without their father’s consent.  Mrs. Johnson-Chebbi invites supporters to join the rally on Thursday, January 5 at 1pm.  For those who cannot attend, she asks that you contact your senators and representatives on her behalf.

Further details on ways to support the efforts of Return US Home may be found at:

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Contact: Édeanna Johnson Chebbi
Cell: 202-505-1532

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