Iranian authorities have executed five people over armed drug smuggling in the south of the country.

The convicts, all criminals and armed drug smugglers, had been sentenced to death by hanging in a verdict upheld by Iran’s top court. The latest hangings bring to eight the number of people executed in less than a week over drug smuggling.

On Wednesday, the judiciary executed three convicted drug cartel members, following warnings from the United Nations over the frighteningly high number of executions in the country.

More than 210 people have already been executed in Iran this year, most of them for drug-related offences, but a United Nations statement said the actual number is likely much higher.

At least 582 people were executed in Iran last year, the highest number of executions in the country since 2015 and well above the 333 recorded in 2021.