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Ramil Shamsutdinov's father, who visited his son (pictured) in custody in November, said he opened fire because he had been bullied.

Russian authorities have launched a probe into the alleged bullying of a conscript who shot dead eight military personnel and wounded two more in October, his lawyer says.

"The military investigative directorate of the Investigative Committee is investigating a bullying case in which [Ramil] Shamsutdinov is registered as a victim," lawyer Ruslan Nagiyev said on December 17.

Hazing in the Russian Army has been under focus of human rights organizations for years.

In recent years, there were many photos and video footage inadvertently posted online by members of the Russian military showing the bullying of young recruits.

Private Shamsutdinov opened fire on October 25 during a watch shift in a unit located in the Zabaikalye region in Siberia. He was arrested and charged with killing more than two persons.

Nagiyev quoted Shamsutdinov as saying he had been "regularly beaten and tortured while serving in his unit."

"Before the shooting spree, Shamsutdinov did not sleep for three days because...officers did not allow him to sleep and threatened to put his head in a toilet," the lawyer added.

Shamsutdinov's father, Salimzhan Shamsutdinov, who visited his son in custody in November, said that the young recruit opened fire because he was bullied.

Investigators have said that by sending Shamsutdinov on watch duty, the officers violated an order from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who banned using conscripts in military missions and watch duties that last more than three days.

According to this order, only personnel serving on a contractual basis can be used for such missions.

With reporting by MBKh Media

A lawyer known for pursuing cases of people allegedly kidnapped by the country’s security agencies was abducted from his residence, his family says.

Armed men in plainclothes overnight abducted Inamur Raheem, a retired colonel, from his house in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, his son Husnain Inam said on December 17.

Inam said a case has been registered but there was no progress so far.

He refused to speculate on who was responsible, but Pakistani security agencies are often blamed for such abductions targeting journalists, human rights defenders, and other activists.

In September, Pakistan's Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances reported that 2,228 individual cases remained unresolved.

Reports said Raheem, described as a vocal critic of security agencies, had reported being harassed by security agencies.

In recent years, he has represented several people detained by the country's spy agency.

The lawyer recently challenged the appointment of a retired general at the helm of the newly formed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, according to the dpa news agency.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP

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