Rights group urges UAE hunger strike probe

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The international rights group Amnesty International has joined activists in the United Arab Emirates urging authorities to investigate allegations of abuse against a group of hunger strikers convicted of anti-state charges.

Activists in the UAE say at least 18 inmates are now part of a hunger strike that began more than a month ago. London-based Amnesty said at least three are in critical condition Wednesday.

The hunger strikers are among 69 suspects convicted in July of links to an Islamist faction that authorities allege seeks to overthrow the UAE’s Western-allied ruling system. The prisoners claim that they have faced torture and other abuses since their arrests last year.

UAE officials have made no public comments.

Separately, security officials have stepped up crackdowns against suspected backers of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

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