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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 June 2006, 23:21 GMT 00:21 UK
Grieving parents want arms treaty
Ozlem and David Grimason made the plea after a visit to Africa
Ozlem and David Grimason made the plea after a visit to Africa
A couple whose toddler son was shot dead as he lay sleeping in his pushchair is calling on governments to unite to crush the small arms trade.

David and Ozlem Grimason made the plea after a visit to Africa where they saw devastation left by illegal weapons.

Their call also comes ahead of a United Nations world conference on the small arms trade next week.

Two-year-old Alistair Grimason, from East Kilbride, was shot during a gunfight in a Turkish cafe in 2003.

During the incident, which took place during a family holiday, a stray bullet pierced the toddler's lung, killing him instantly.

Guns should not be part of society - where there are guns there is fear, insecurity and death
David Grimason

The Grimasons, who now live in Edinburgh, are fronting the Control Arms campaign, which they hope will build support among governments to prevent arms from being exported to destinations where they could be used to commit human rights violations.

They travelled to Turkana, one of the remotest and poorest parts of Kenya, with the charity Oxfam to highlight the growing need for an arms trade treaty.

Figures from the campaign show that as many as 1,000 people are killed by small arms every day. In the Turkana region, 111 people have been shot and killed in the past six months.

Mr Grimason has already campaigned for tighter gun controls in Turkey, where his wife comes from.

He said: "We went to Turkana to highlight to the public that the Control Arms campaign needs their support to push governments to reopen negotiations on an international arms trade treaty.

Alistair Grimason
Alistair was shot by a stray bullet as he slept in his pushchair

"In this area there is a major problem. I spoke to one woman who told me about a seven-year-old boy whose family were attacked by raiders.

"His parents were shot dead in front of him so he picked up a gun and shot dead the man firing at him, something that no young boy should have to do."

He called on the UK Government to do more to encourage other countries to agree to a treaty.

"The UK do support it but the Control Arms campaign has been disappointed that they haven't been vocal enough to other governments to persuade them to become involved," he said.

"The UK need to be stronger at the upcoming UN talks and get others on board."

'State repression'

In March this year Mr Grimason joined Mick North, whose daughter Sophie was killed in the Dunblane shootings, to launch the 100-day countdown to the UN conference.

"This is something we feel very strongly about, having lost our own son," he added.

"Guns should not be part of society. Where there are guns there is fear, insecurity and death."

According to Oxfam, guns and other small arms kill more people every year than the atomic bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Listen to an interview with David Grimason



SEE ALSO
Gun loss fathers join campaigners
16 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Dunblane father's anti-gun effort
13 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Dunblane parents still await gun register
02 Mar 06 |  Newsnight Home
Fathers in Turkish gun campaign
12 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Man convicted of toddler killing
19 Jul 04 |  Scotland

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