Mother Plans Rally to Demand Return of Her Children

Édeanna Johnson-Chebbi says Tunisian Embassy aided her ex-husband in kidnapping their kids

It's been nearly two months since she's been able to hug her two children, and Édeanna Johnson-Chebbi is far from giving up on bringing them home.

Johnson-Chebbi and her supporters have organized a second rally in front of the Tunisian Embassy for 1 p.m. Thursday to pressure the embassy to right what they say was the embassy's wrong. The rally is scheduled for five days before a Jan. 10 international hearing regarding the return of the Eslam and Zainab Chebbi.

On Nov. 11, Faical Chebbi, a native of Tunisia and Johnson-Chebbi's ex-husband, had taken their children through the Tunisian Embassy, where Johnson-Chebbi says Tunisian officials enabled the kidnapping of her two U.S.-born children.

"I had full legal and physical custody by a mutual, consensual agreement and [the embassy] had documents of that. And protective orders. It's like they just didn't care," Johnson-Chebbi said to Patch after

Before being taken to Tunisia, the children attended schools in Oakton — Eslam, 5, at and Zainab, 2, at , both on Hunter Mill Road.

Care2, an online social action network, reached out to Johnson-Chebbi to help build momentum behind her cause after reading her story in the news. Through the Care2 site, they have launched a petition that has received nearly 18,000 signatures as of Monday evening.

On Dec. 23, Johnson-Chebbi posted a message to her Facebook followers that said the petition is working.

"Secretary Clinton's office has finally made inquiries after receiving the letters generated from the Care2 petition! This is great progress! There is still much ground to be gained, but finally we have her attention!" she wrote.

Johnson-Chebbi also started a website to update her supporters. Click here to visit her site.


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