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    Posted March 29, 2014 by
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    Fate of 2 American Children in Hands of Tunisian Prime Minister

     

    Washington, DC - The fate of 2 American babies rests in the hands of Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, scheduled to meet with President Obama during a visit to Washington April 2-4.  Eslam and Zainab Chebbi (aged 7 and 5) have been captives of the Tunisian government since their illegal abduction in November 2011.   The “supreme court” of Tunisia ruled to return the children to their mother in the United States, yet, Jomaa’s government refuses to uphold its own law, conspiring instead to keep the children separated, and the family illegally confined in Tunisia, indefinitely. Until now, the Tunisians have scoffed legal and diplomatic demands for the return of these two vulnerable U.S. citizens.   The plight of Eslam and Zainab began when their father, Faical Chebbi (currently one of the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted) absconded with the children in 2011, using illegally obtained passports.  Their mother, Édeanna Johnson-Chebbi, relocated to Tunisia in January 2012 in order to be close to her children, and to seek legal application of her U.S. custody rights there.    The U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, the State Department, the FBI and multiple congressional representatives have advocated exhaustively with the Tunisians since the abduction occurred.  More than 2 years later, Johnson-Chebbi has received 3 rulings, including an unappealable “supreme court” judgment, upholding her children’s right to reside with her in their home in the U.S.  While these legal ‘wins’ are unprecedented in the Tunisian republic, the government’s refusal to uphold its laws, is, unfortunately, an all too familiar trait of its former dictatorial regime.    Johnson-Chebbi, Executive Director of Return US Home, states: “International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) victimizes nearly 2 American children every day.  It is a serious problem that requires the American government to prioritize the lives of innocent American children over politics, and demands that foreign governments act humanely on behalf of abducted children.” Eslam and Zainab’s hope of living tog

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