Iraq must stop capital punishment, rights group Amnesty International said on Friday, amid fears that 128 more death row prisoners will be executed shortly.
The London-based group urged the justice ministry to intervene, saying executions might start next week.
The Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council told Amnesty on Monday that the president and his two vice-presidents had ratified the 128 death sentences.
"The authorities are said to be planning to carry out the executions in batches of 20 per week," Amnesty said.
It argued that the restoration of capital punishment in 2004 had not curbed widespread violence in which thousands die annually.
"The reality ... is that violence has continued at extremely high levels and the death penalty has yet again been shown to be no deterrent," said Amnesty Middle East director Malcolm Smart.
"In fact, many attacks are perpetrated by suicide bombers who, clearly, are unlikely to be deterred by the threat of execution."
Smart said the death row inmates had not been named and their trials might well have not have been fair.
"Most are likely to have been sentenced to death by the central criminal court of Iraq, whose proceedings consistently fall short of international standards for fair trial," he said.
The statement noted that torture remained rife and that confessions were likely to have been extracted during pre-trial detention.
"We fear that numerous people have gone to their death after unfair trials," said Smart.
The death penalty could be making the violence in Iraq worse, he added, calling on the government to "order an immediate halt to these executions and establish a moratorium on all further executions."
After the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003, the death penalty was suspended for a year. Since then, scores have been executed and hundreds sentenced to death.
Last year at least 285 people were sentenced to death, and at least 34 executed, Amnesty said. In 2007 at least 199 people were sentenced to death and 33 executed. At least 65 people were executed in 2006.
However, there are no official statistics for the number of prisoners facing execution and the true figures could be far higher, the group added.