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BBC investigation reveals police persecution of gays in Iraq

12 September 2012 Last updated at 12:32 BST

A BBC World Service investigation has revealed that law enforcement agencies in Iraq are involved in the ongoing systematic persecution of homosexuals.

Activists say hundreds of gay men, and some women, have died in targeted killings in Iraq in recent years.

These numbers are difficult to verify, but the United Nations confirmed it was extremely concerned about what it called a deadly anti-gay campaign.

The UN office in Baghdad also told the BBC that Iraq's government is in violation of international law and failure to react to these killings have made the state a perpetrator in the crime.

Natalia Antelava reports from Baghdad.