Dad in global appeal to end weapons trade

David Grimason: Hopeful over treaty. Picture: Ian Georgeson
David Grimason: Hopeful over treaty. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A DAD whose two-year-old son was shot dead in Turkey is to make an international plea to end reckless arms deals.

Toddler Alistair Grimason was murdered in 2003 when a gunfight broke out in a cafe in the village of Foca, near the popular holiday destination of Ismir.

Alistair Grimason

Alistair Grimason

Alistair’s father, David Grimason, from Dalry, appears in a new film by Oxfam – Grieving Dads Demand Global Action – alongside Dr Mick North, whose five-year-old daughter Sophie was killed in the Dunblane Massacre.

In the film, which will be promoted worldwide, the two men recount what happened to their children and urge global leaders to agree a robust treaty restricting the illegal or unlicensed movement of weapons.

David, 40, said: “Losing Alistair will always be with me, I will never forget.

“Alistair was two-and-a-half years old. He was enjoying his life, having a lot of fun on holiday, playing in the sea, playing in the sand. He had that taken away from him.

“Losing a child is something you would not wish on anyone, certainly when it’s at the hands of someone with a gun.

“But getting involved in this gives me a focus to try and help prevent it happening to others.

“I suppose it began after we started a drive to tighten gun laws in Turkey, and then I became involved in Oxfam’s Control Arms Campaign.”

Killer Daimi Akyuz, who also shot dead a man in the incident, was jailed for a total of 58 years, although he will only serve the maximum Turkish sentence of 36 years.

David, who works for Menzies Distribution, has worked tirelessly with Oxfam’s Control Arms Campaign since 2004, travelling to Kenya to witness first-hand the damage caused by the uncontrolled movement of weapons.

The charity is calling on the international community to put an end to decades of irresponsible arms deals which devastate people’s lives, by agreeing a set of laws when diplomats meet to draw up a new Arms Trade Treaty.

Final talks will be held at the United Nations in July.

Judith Robertson, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “We are hugely grateful to both Mick North and David Grimason for agreeing to recount their experiences to help boost public support around the world for a strong treaty.

“We are on the brink of a historic moment but the challenge is to ensure the new treaty is really strong. It must unambiguously stop arms transfers where they would fuel conflict, poverty or human rights abuses.

“Existing arms embargoes are far too easy to break or ignore.

“The lack of international regulation means states under embargo have been importing whatever weapons they choose with impunity.”

To watch the film, search for “Grieving Dads Demand Global Action” on YouTube.