Article in Tunisian Press, Feb. 3, 2012

New Request for Support

Good morning all,
If you’ve been following the Return US Home web and facebook pages, you are aware that we are making new strides in advocating for the return of Eslam and Zainab, as well as for Bakr Hizi (2). Our fight, however, is not over yet. I continue to appreciate and rely on your support to see our endeavors through to victory.

On Monday, April 23 @ 12:30 we are hosting a new rally at the Tunisian embassy (in Washington, DC) to shed light on our case, and the case of Zineb Nabaoui, whose son, Bakr, was abducted in early March of this year.  I invite you to both join the rally, and to share and distribute the flyer amongst your various online and local/religious communities.  As you know, our message is mightier in numbers!

I also need your help in contacting the media.  This time, I am not providing links to any specific outlets, but ask that you please forward the latest press release to any media contacts you may have personally.

Additionally, we have been in touch with a number of political leaders both in the U.S. and in Tunisia to solicit support of our efforts to ensure the rights of left-behind parents in the face of future abductions.  I will be asking for further support of this effort in a future message.

Presently, our greatest need is your presence at the rally, and your financial support.  I am not a fundraiser by nature, but the cost of living in Tunisia, traveling to see the kids, and obtaining translations of legal and official documents are taking a toll. Any amount you may be willing to contribute to Return US Home will go far in helping to offset these expenses.  While Return US Home is not yet a 501 (c) 3 organization, it is my understanding that any contribution may be recorded as a “gift” for tax purposes (please consult a tax professional for clarification).  For those who’ve already contributed, thank you letters are far overdue, but will be coming shortly.  Know that your support has made a tremendous difference!

Eslam and Zainab are doing well. They are both growing more anxious about spending time with their mommy.  We continue to see each other almost daily at the house of their grandparents. I am still only allowed to bring one child at a time to my home at present.  The three of us appreciate this time, but are growing weary of not being able to be together freely. I remain faithful that this will all change very soon. Despite the circumstances, both children continue to amaze me almost daily. Their spirit, intellect and personalities are an exhilarating experience that perhaps only a mother can truly understand. Those of you who know them personally are aware of their special nature. I thank God every day that I am blessed to be the mother of such awesome kids!

We will be in court again on April 24, and look forward to receiving a first determination on our equivalency case within a few weeks.  I will surely keep you all up-to-date.

In the meantime, the present focus is the rally on April 23.

All the best,
Edeanna

Flyer: Rally for Justice and Human Rights: Bring our babies home – April 23 @ 12:30pm

Please circulate the flyer and press release to your online and local/religious communities.  Feel free (i.e. PLEASE DO) to download, print, and distribute within the local DC area.

Join us on April 23, 2012 as we march in solidarity to demand that Tunisia stand up for the rights of these children and denounce the growing trend of abductions.  There is no democracy without human rights, and ensuring the rights of the helpless and innocent are paramount in the eyes of justice.

United, we will make a difference!

 

Flyer, Rally for Justice and Human Rights – Bring our Babies Home, April 23 @ 12:30pm

Two Local Mothers Unite to Bring Their Kidnapped Children Home

Two Local  Mothers Unite to Bring Their Kidnapped Children Home

For Immediate Release –  Washington, DC – Return US Home

On Monday, April 23, 2012 at 12:30pm, Return US Home will march on the Tunisian Embassy in Washington, DC.  This rally will support two local mothers’ efforts to get their kidnapped children back home.

The “Rally for Justice and Human Rights: Bring Our Babies Home” is a call for Tunisian authorities to return American children, Eslam (5) and Zainab Chebbi (3), and Bakr Hizi(2) to their homes in the USA.  Zineb Nabaoui, Bakr’s mother, will be at the rally, but Mrs. Johnson-Chebbi is in Tunisia, fighting to bring her children home.

On November 11, 2011, Mrs. Johnson-Chebbi’s abusive ex-husband, Faical Chebbi, abducted their two small children, Eslam and Zainab, to his native Tunisia.  Despite pre-existing protective orders, including one not to remove either child from the United States; and a mutually signed legal separation agreement granting Johnson-Chebbi full legal and physical custody of the two children, Mr. Chebbi obtained passports for the children from the Tunisian embassy.

On March 6, 2012, Mrs. Nabaoui’s also abusive ex-husband, Adel Hizi – and a native Tunisian – kidnapped their son Bakr in the exact same manner.  Mr. Chebbi and Mr. Hizi had been known associates in the U.S. and their similar kidnappings illustrate a dangerous, growing trend.

“This is the fourth abduction from the US to Tunisia since August 2011 that I know of,” Mrs. Johnson-Chebbi said. “Faical gloated almost a month prior to Bakr’s abduction that someone else would commit this despicable act. If I’d known any more details, I would have done anything to stop it,” she said.

Return US Home says, “We are heartened by Representative Chris Smith (Rep-NJ)’s and the House Committee of Foreign Affairs’ proposed bill, HR 1940.”  “This bill encouraged me to see a light at the end of this tunnel,” added Johnson-Chebbi.  “The powers it gives the President in response to any country harboring abducted U.S. citizens are a left-behind parent’s dream!”

Because there are not yet any mutual conventions between the U.S. and Tunisia, Return US Home has developed a proposed agreement that, if supported, would aid the return of abducted American children.

Return US Home invites supporters to join the rally on Monday, April 23 at 12:30pm.

Further details on ways to support the efforts of Return US Home may be found at: www.returnushome.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/returnushome

# # #

Contact: Édeanna Johnson-Chebbi
Cell: 202-505-1532
Email: returnushome@gmail.com
www.returnushome.wordpress.com

Rally for Justice and Human Rights: Bring our babies home! April 23, 2012 at 12:30pm (Tunisian Embassy)

Meet us in front of the Tunisian Embassy on April 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm.
(address: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005)

Bring your voice, bring your signs!
Support the effort to bring home abducted babies Eslam (5) and Zainab (3) Chebbi, and recently abducted Bakr (2). Further details to be shared shortly.

Since November of 2011, 3 families have been victimized by the act of international child abduction from the MD/DC/VA area to Tunisia (that have been brought to our attention).  Stand up to the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the members of the Tunisian Consulate; join us in demanding the democratic protection of human rights and the return of US children wrongfully-removed with the aid of old regime practices at the Tunisian Embassy!

https://www.facebook.com/events/353691871349822/

Letter to Congressman Chris Smith

The following letter was delivered to Congressman Chris Smith of NJ requesting that he highlight this case at a Congressional hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, 2012 in support of HR 1940: http://chrissmith.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=286919

Congressman Chris Smith
Washington, DC Office
2373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

 March 24, 2012

 Dear Congressman Smith:

I am writing to request your personal advocacy of Department of State case #: OCS 2011 319 2852 in support of H.R. 1940.

As of this writing, there have been four abductions from the northeastern region of the U.S. to Tunisia, the last three having occurred within the past four months, all from the DC/MD/VA region.  There is reason to believe an additional abduction is pending, though no further information regarding this abduction is known (the State Department and FBI have been made aware of this).

On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi – a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States of America – departed the U.S. with Eslam (5) and Zainab (3), declaring never to return them home.  At present, I, Édeanna M. Chebbi, am in Tunisia fighting for the right to bring my children back to their home in the U.S.

I was granted sole physical and legal custody of my children by the consent of my ex-husband over a year ago.  I fought for two years in the U.S. to ensure that my children and I would not be re-victimized by the domestic violence that necessitated our divorce.  We are now suffering this re-victimization in Tunisia at the hands of a man who is unquestionably a criminal.

In the summer of 2011 when Faical applied for and obtained Tunisian birth certificates and passports for Eslam and Zainab, he did so as a U.S. citizen bound by U.S. law, for two U.S. citizens whom he had relinquished any right of legal authority over.  Eslam and Zainab have always been U.S. citizens and their receiving Tunisian citizenship was illegal.

In addition to Faical’s personal confession for the criminal act of international child abduction (on file with the U.S. consulate, Tunis, Tunisia), the following facts would easily support senior U.S. officials in intervening with Tunisian authorities on our behalf – particularly in obtaining cooperation through Interpol for the children’s return:

On July 16, 2010, the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County, Maryland issued a court order preventing either parent from removing Eslam and Zainab from the United States.  On November 17, 2011, the same court issued an order demanding the children be returned to Édeanna Chebbi utilizing all means of reasonable and necessary force.  On November 18, 2011, Virginia State Police issued 2 warrants for Faical Chebbi for the criminal act of child abduction.  On December 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for the arrest of Faical Chebbi for the act of international kidnapping.  Finally, on January 4, 2012, The United States Attorney’s office issued a Prosecutor’s Agreement to Extradite for Faical Chebbi in upholding the federal warrant.

Each of these documents is incorporated in the aforementioned U.S. Department of State case file.  Additionally, the Tunisian Interpol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of the Interior have received copies of Interpol yellow alerts for missing children, Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.  The whereabouts of both children is well known, and Interpol has been notified of the address of their detention in Tunisia.

Congressman Smith, I request that you highlight these Tunisian abductions as an issue of grave concern at the Congressional hearing on March 27, 2012. I particularly request any and all emphasis be placed on the need for diplomatic and Congressional action in advocating for the return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.  Tunisia stands to receive a significant financial contribution from the U.S.  in its efforts to democratize following the Jasmine Revolution.  It is inconceivable as a U.S. citizen that our country would support these efforts while ignoring their harboring of innocent American children.

Sincerely,

Édeanna M. Chebbi

Latest Request for Help

Hi all,

There will be a number of requests for assistance coming along and I can surely use your help with each one of them.

I’ll include an update soon.  In the meantime, I’d love your help!

Please act, and then share with EVERYONE you know.  Your efforts have certainly worked in the past.  As we’ve seen, every voice counts!

Thank you,

Édeanna

Please follow the links below.  Copy the respective letters and paste as indicated.  Sign your name to the bottom (after ‘sincerely’), prior to submitting the message.

Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clintonhttp://wp.me/p26atV-2w

Submit at: http://contact-us.state.gov/app/ngo_to_state

 

Letter to The Honorable James Carter:  http://wp.me/p26atV-2u

Submit via email at: carterweb@emory.edu

 

Letter to The Honorable William J. Clintonhttp://wp.me/p26atV-2s

Submit at: at http://www.clintonfoundation.org/contactus/ (topic: other)

****The site appears to take the entire letter, despite the character limitation, but just in case, you can also copy and paste this message, below:

I am requesting your assistance to advocate on behalf of Eslam (5) and Zainab (3) Chebbi  (Department of State case #: OCS 2011 319 2852).

On 11-11-11, Faical Chebbi, the children’s father departed the U.S. with the children. Their mother, Édeanna Chebbi, is now in Tunisia fighting to bring them home.

Édeanna was granted sole physical and legal custody of her children over a year ago. Faical’s confession for the act of kidnapping is on file with the U.S. consulate in Tunisia. Also, on 7-16-10, a circuit court of Maryland issued an order preventing either parent from removing the children from the U.S. On 11-17-11, the same court issued an order demanding the children be returned to Édeanna by all means of reasonable and necessary force. On 11-18-11, Virginia State Police issued 2 warrants for Faical for child abduction. On 12- 19-11, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for Faical for kidnapping. Finally, on 1- 4-12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a Prosecutor’s Agreement to Extradite with an Interpol red alert for Faical, upholding the warrant.

Please help bring these babies home!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In addition to electronic delivery, you are welcome to send a signed letter to the address indicated on each letter. 

Letter to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

 March 10, 2012

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am writing in reference to DOS case #: OCS 2011 319 2852 regarding the international child abduction of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.

I am asking for your personal advocacy on behalf of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi to the Tunisian government.  I request that you utilize the personal confession of Faical Chebbi for the criminal act of international child abduction (on file with the U.S. consulate, Tunis, Tunisia) to advocate for the return of Eslam and Zainab to the U.S.  The Tunisian Interpol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of the Interior, have all received copies of the Interpol red alerts for the detention and extradition of Faical Chebbi for the criminal act of international child abduction.

Please recall that Eslam and Zainab have always been U.S. citizens and that their receiving Tunisian birth certificates and passports were both crimes against United States law.  At the time that Faical Chebbi applied for and obtained these documents, he did so as a U.S. citizen bound by U.S. law, for two U.S. citizens whom he had relinquished any right to legal authority over.

On July 16, 2010, the Circuit Court of Maryland in Prince George’s County issued a court order preventing either parent from removing either child from the United States.  On November 17, 2011, the same court issued an order demanding the return of Eslam and Zainab Chebbi to Édeanna Chebbi utilizing all means of reasonable and necessary force.  On November 18, 2011, Virginia State Police issued 2 warrants for Faical Chebbi for the criminal act of child abduction.  On December 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for the arrest of Faical Chebbi for the act of international kidnapping.  Finally, on January 4, 2012, The United States Attorney’s office issued a Prosecutor’s Agreement to Extradite with an Interpol red alert for Faical Chebbi in upholding the federal warrant.  Each of these documents is incorporated in the case file in your department’s Office of Children’s Issues.

Eslam and Zainab Chebbi have been away from their home against their will and the will of their mother – their sole legal guardian – for far too long.  If these were your grandchildren, how long would be long enough?

The body of evidence available for your advocacy on the behalf of Eslam and Zainab is clear and strong.  Please act with urgency to request their expeditious return to the United States.

Sincerely,

Letter to The Honorable James Carter

The Honorable James Carter
The Carter Center
One Copenhill
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307

March 10, 2012

Dear Mr. Carter:

I am writing to request your personal advocacy with Tunisian authorities on behalf of kidnapped children, Eslam (5) and Zainab (3) Chebbi.  (Department of State case #: OCS 2011 319 2852).

On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi, the children’s father – a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States of America – departed the U.S. with Eslam and Zainab, declaring never to return them home.  At present, their mother, Édeanna M. Chebbi, is in Tunisia fighting for the right to bring her children back to their home in the U.S.

Édeanna was granted sole physical and legal custody of her children by the consent of her ex-husband over a year ago.  She fought for two years in the U.S. to ensure that she and her children would not be re-victimized by the domestic violence that necessitated their divorce.  They are now suffering this re-victimization in Tunisia at the hands of a man who is unquestionably a criminal.

In the summer of 2011 when Faical applied for and obtained Tunisian birth certificates and passports for Eslam and Zainab, he did so as a U.S. citizen bound by U.S. law, for two U.S. citizens whom he had relinquished any right of legal authority over.  Eslam and Zainab have always been U.S. citizens and their receiving Tunisian citizenship was illegal.

In addition to Faical’s personal confession for the criminal act of international child abduction (on file with the U.S. consulate, Tunis, Tunisia), the following details will strengthen an argument for the return of these children:

On July 16, 2010, the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County, Maryland issued a court order preventing either parent from removing Eslam and Zainab from the United States.  On November 17, 2011, the same court issued an order demanding the children be returned to Édeanna Chebbi utilizing all means of reasonable and necessary force.  On November 18, 2011, Virginia State Police issued 2 warrants for Faical Chebbi for the criminal act of child abduction.  On December 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for the arrest of Faical Chebbi for the act of international kidnapping.  Finally, on January 4, 2012, The United States Attorney’s office issued a Prosecutor’s Agreement to Extradite with an Interpol red alert for Faical Chebbi in upholding the federal warrant.

Each of these documents is incorporated in the aforementioned U.S. Department of State case file.  Additionally, the Tunisian Interpol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of the Interior have received copies of the Interpol alerts.

Mr. Carter, please help, and act with urgency, to advocate for the expeditious return of these children.

Sincerely,

Letter to The Honorable William J. Clinton

The Honorable William J. Clinton
55 W. 125th Street
New York NY 10027

March 10, 2012

 Dear Mr. Clinton:

I am writing to request your personal advocacy on behalf of two kidnapped children, Eslam (5) and Zainab (3) Chebbi.  (Department of State case #: OCS 2011 319 2852).

On November 11, 2011, Faical Chebbi, the children’s father – a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States of America – departed the U.S. with Eslam and Zainab, declaring never to return them home.  At present, their mother, Édeanna M. Chebbi, is in Tunisia fighting for the right to bring her children back to their home in the U.S.

Édeanna was granted sole physical and legal custody of her children by the consent of her ex-husband over a year ago.  She fought for two years in the U.S. to ensure that she and her children would not be re-victimized by the domestic violence that necessitated her divorce.  They are now suffering this re-victimization in Tunisia at the hands of a man who is unquestionably a criminal.

In the summer of 2011 when Faical Chebbi applied for and obtained Tunisian birth certificates and passports for Eslam and Zainab, he did so as a U.S. citizen bound by U.S. law, for two U.S. citizens whom he had relinquished any right of legal authority over.  Eslam and Zainab have always been U.S. citizens and their receiving Tunisian citizenship was illegal.

In addition to Faical’s personal confession for the criminal act of international child abduction (on file with the U.S. consulate, Tunis, Tunisia), the following details will strengthen an argument for the return of these children:

On July 16, 2010, the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County, Maryland issued a court order preventing either parent from removing Eslam and Zainab from the United States.  On November 17, 2011, the same court issued an order demanding the children be returned to Édeanna Chebbi utilizing all means of reasonable and necessary force.  On November 18, 2011, Virginia State Police issued 2 warrants for Faical Chebbi for the criminal act of child abduction.  On December 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for the arrest of Faical Chebbi for the act of international kidnapping.  Finally, on January 4, 2012, The United States Attorney’s office issued a Prosecutor’s Agreement to Extradite with an Interpol red alert for Faical Chebbi in upholding the federal warrant.

Each of these documents is incorporated in the aforementioned U.S. Department of State case file.  Additionally, the Tunisian Interpol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of the Interior have received copies of the Interpol alerts.

Mr. Clinton, please help, and act with urgency, to advocate for the expeditious return of these children.

Sincerely,