The United Arab Emirates has been accused by international human rights organisations of failing to address numerous allegations of prisoners being tortured by authorities over the past year, the US-based Huffington Post has reported.

Egyptian nationals charged with links to the Muslim Brotherhood political group, three Britons and two Syrians who are defendants in a trial of political dissidents, are among those who say they have been severely abused under detention in the Gulf nation, according to reports.

Twenty of 61 Egyptians, detained before their trial starts on November 5 over accusations that they conspired to illegally establish a branch of the Brotherhood in the UAE, are on hunger strike in protest of alleged mistreatment by authorities.

"Handwritten letters by Egyptian prisoners include allegations consistent with those made by others, with prisoners saying they have been subjected to beatings, electric shocks and exposed to extremes of temperature in solitary confinement," The Huffington Post said.

"Prisoners say guards have threatened them with HIV infection, sexual abuse and death while revealing that when they complain to the prosecutor, he has threatened them with further torture if they do not admit the charges against them."

In each case of alleged torture, authorities either ignored the allegations or dismissed them as fantasy, failing to conduct any investigation.

Shortly after signing up to the Convention Against Torture, the UAE won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council at the same time as Human Rights Watch were reporting on enforced disappearances and torture in the country. 

Source: Agencies