6 alleged coup plotters in UAE on hunger strike

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A rights group says six people convicted of allegedly plotting an Islamist coup in the United Arab Emirates are staging a hunger strike.

The Emirates Centre For Human Rights said Sunday the six were among more than 65 people who received prison sentences of up to 15 years in a mass trial that underscored the widening crackdowns on perceived Arab Spring-inspired dissent across the Gulf region.

Rights groups have accused the UAE of widespread violations, including jailhouse abuses, against those put on trial. The suspects included teachers, lawyers and even a cousin of one of the UAE’s rulers.

The Emirates Centre said five, including prominent rights lawyer Mohamed al Mansoori, went on hunger strike Wednesday over complaints of mistreatment by authorities and a sixth has since joined them.

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