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Kuwait high court upholds death penalty for Islamist militants, commutes 4 to life sentences

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Kuwait [official backgrounder] Tuesday affirmed death sentences [JURIST report] for two of six Islamist militants convicted in 2005 for their involvement in a clash with police that left several people dead, but commuted the other four to life in prison. The men, members of an al Qaeda linked group called the Peninsula Lions [Wikipedia backgrounder], were convicted on a number of charges, including belonging to an extremist group and attempting to kill members of Kuwait's security forces and its allies. The four men whose sentences were commuted Tuesday had lost on their first appeal last year.

The men were among a group of 37 who were tried for their involvement with the Peninsula Lions. Of those, seven were acquitted, while the remainder received a range of prison sentences. Kuwait, a strong US ally, has cracked down on dissidents who oppose US military presence in the country. Thousands of US troops are currently stationed in Kuwait. Reuters has more.

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