A UN human rights expert is calling on the Iraqi government to halt what he says is the possible imminent execution of up to 196 death row inmates in Anbar province.
The UN investigator on arbitrary executions said in a statement Friday that the execution of so many people in a single province was "extremely disturbing" and might breach international law.
Christof Heyns says capital punishment may only be used under tightly limited circumstances and accuses Iraq of "regrettable lack of transparency in the use of the death penalty."
He urged Iraq to disclose information on the number of executions carried out, the identity of death row prisoners, the charges and judicial proceedings against them, and the outcome of the review of their cases.
According to Amnesty International Iraq carried out 68 executions last year.