ISIS tortures, executes human rights activist and lawyer Samira al-Nuaimi accused of apostasy

A lawyer and human rights activist, Samira was critical of ISIS in Facebook posts, seized from her home by ISIS and tried by an ad hoc religious "court" for apostasy. After five days of torture, she was sentenced to public execution.

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi
Sep 22, 2014
Organized Jihadists
Also Known As:
Samira Saleh al-Naimi
Executed, Tortured, Abducted
Accused of:
Activist, lawyer

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was an activist and lawyer for human rights in Iraq who, in September 2014, made a post on Facebook bemoaning ISIS’s destruction of numerous historical buildings and landmarks in her town of Mosul. She had described the attacks, which had occurred the previous month, as “barbaric.” This earned the ire of the Islamic State, and on September 17, Samira was captured and taken from her home by ISIS militants.

For five days, Samira was tortured before being made to stand trial in a makeshift “Sharia court.” There, she was “tried” for her “crimes,” resulting in a “sentencing” on September 22: ISIS ruled that she was now an apostate and deserved due punishment, which, in their eyes, was a public execution. Samira was killed by a firing squad in a public square of Mosul.

At the time of her death, Samira was married and had three children.

"By torturing and executing a female human rights' lawyer and activist, defending in particular the civil and human rights of her fellow citizens in Mosul, ISIL continues to attest to its infamous nature, combining hatred, nihilism and savagery, as well as its total disregard of human decency." - Nickolay Mladenov, U.N. envoy to Iraq


In Iraq, a de facto blasphemy law criminalizes “insults” to religious sects, their practices, and their beliefs with up to three years in prison and/or fines. Individuals must register their religion with the state, and Muslims may not change their religious designation by law. There are no laws explicitly criminalizing apostasy or atheism, but such individuals may face a risk of prosecution from the blasphemy law, if rarely. Purported blasphemers or apostates may also find themselves at risk of vigilante violence.

Cases in Iraq
15-year-old Amed Sherwan imprisoned and tortured for announcing atheism
ISIS tortures, executes human rights activist and lawyer Samira al-Nuaimi accused of apostasy
Man beheaded in front of crowd by ISIS authorities for blasphemy