Eight people convicted on drug charges were executed yesterday in the northwestern Iranian cities of Orumiyeh and Miandoab.

Human rights activists in western Iran reported on Tuesday May 10 that five people were executed in Orumiyeh and another three in Miandoab.

Iran is a close second to China when it comes to the annual number of executions, and Amnesty International recently announced that, according to reliable sources, 300 people were recently executed in secret at Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad.

Human rights groups in Iran claim that many Iranian executions go unreported. They say their own investigations show that the secret executions in Mashhad killed many more than the 300 victims cited by Amnesty International.

The United Nations has expressed grave concern regarding the surge in executions by Islamic Republic authorities.