Source: Washington Examiner
Authorities are trying to recover two young Fairfax County children who were allegedly kidnapped by their father and taken to Tunisia.
Faical Chebbi called the children’s mother — his ex-wife — the next day and told her he and the children would not be returning, according to court records. Chebbi was charged in federal court in Alexandria with international parental kidnapping.
Chebbi and Edeanna Johnson-Chebbi divorced in January, nearly a year after she obtained a protective order because he threatened to kill her, according to court documents. Johnson-Chebbi had sole custody of Zainab and Eslam; Chebbi absconded with the children after picking them up from their grandparents’ house in Prince George’s County for a scheduled visit, according to the court documents.
“At first, I was sort of in an action mode,” said Johnson-Chebbi, who has created a Facebook pageand online petitions about the case. She said coping has gotten harder over the past month, but she is still optimistic her children will be returned.
“What else are you going to do?” she told The Washington Examiner. “I won’t allow myself to imagine that this will pass. They will be home. I just don’t know how or when.”
But Johnson-Chebbi faces an uphill battle. There are no treaties or agreements between the United States and Tunisia regarding parental abduction cases. The countries also don’t have an extradition treaty. And her ex-husband’s “arrogance” means the filing of criminal charges is unlikely to change his mindset, Johnson-Chebbi said.
She said the family’s court documents were on file with the Tunisian Embassy and the children shouldn’t have been able to obtain passports.
No attorney was listed for Chebbi in court records. The embassy didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Anyone with information can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
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