Urgent action is needed to halt the execution of 128 prisoners on death row in Iraq, says a London-based organisation of Iraqis supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Iraq.

According to Iraqi-LGBT, many of those awaiting execution were convicted for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality.

Iraqi-LGBT’s Ali Hili said the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing the prisoners in batches of 20 from this week.

The organisation called on the UK Government, human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission to urgently intervene to prevent the executions from going ahead.

“We have information and reports on members of our community [who have] been arrested and [are] waiting for execution for the crime of homosexuality,” said Hili.

He added that 17 members working for Iraqi-LGBT had disappeared or been killed in Iraq since 2005.

Most of the prisoners awaiting execution are likely to have been sentenced to death by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI), whose proceedings consistently fall short of international standards for fair trial, said the organisation.

Amnesty International has called on the Iraqi authorities to make public all information pertaining to the 128 people, including their full names, details of the charges against them, the dates of their arrest, trial and appeal and their current places of detention.

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