AP, April 28, 2017 - Experts cautioned that international statistics on executions are difficult to obtain because many countries shroud the process in secrecy.
"I feel quite certain there are more executions that we don't know about," said Delphine Lourtau, executive director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, which maintains a database on executions across the globe.
Lourtau said some of the countries where executions may have taken place but have not been confirmed include Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Vietnam and Yemen.
Iran has reportedly executed 10 people since April 20, when Arkansas executed its first inmate since 2005.
Iranian news media reported that 29-year-old Mehdi Mirzaei was executed on April 22 after serving three years in western Iranian city of Khoramabad. He had been sentenced to death for carrying and possession of seven kilograms of amphetamine.
A second person executed the same day was identified by local media as a 21-year-old man sentenced to death for killing another man during an argument about a year and a half ago. He was executed in the northern Iranian city of Babol.
Eight prisoners were hanged in Iran on April 20, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, a group run by Iranian human rights activists living outside the Middle Eastern country who collect information from reporters operating in Iran. The agency said the prisoners received death sentences following murder convictions in recent years. No names were given and there was no corroboration by officials, who do not always release details of those executed.
Executions in Iran are typically carried out early in the morning in prison gallows, often with a chair or bench kicked out from under the inmate. Most happen in the presence of families of victims and the condemned.
Public hangings occasionally occur, with the condemned prisoner hoisted up by a crane attached to a rope and noose.
Once a death sentence is imposed in murder cases, the victim's family can halt the execution in lieu of prison time - often through payments to the victim's family.