The jihadists who rule Iraq's northern city of Mosul have executed a female rights activist who criticised the Islamic State group on social media, several sources said Thursday.
According to rights groups and residents, Samira Saleh al-Nuaimi was executed on Monday. A source at Mosul morgue confirmed to AFP that her body was brought in earlier this week.
"I have also had contact with the morgue and sadly I can confirm that she is dead," Hana Edward, a prominent Iraqi rights activist who knew Nuaimi, told AFP.
The slain activist's parents were informed on Tuesday that the body was at the morgue, one of their neighbours said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the jihadists.
The neighbour said she was kidnapped a week ago.
"When the family asked what she had done to deserve this, they said she had failed to express regret for making comments on Facebook condemning the demolition of the shrines," he said.
The Islamic State group has destroyed several religious and historical monuments across Iraq, notably on the grounds that revering shrines built on graves amounted to idolatry.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) said the lawyer had described as "barbaric" the destruction of Iraq's heritage by the jihadists.
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"A group of masked armed men who belong to (IS) opened fire and killed her in a public square in the very heart of Mosul," the organisation said in a statement.
Edward said Nuaimi was a dedicated rights activist who had once run for a seat in parliament.
"IS is now tracking anybody who used to work for the government or who was an activist of some kind," she said.
The GCHR said Nuaimi was "famous for her activities that include defending detainees and supporting the disadvantaged families in the city."
The United Nations' top envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov condemned "yet another of the innumerable sickening crimes committed against the people of Iraq" by IS.
In a statement, he claimed Nuaimi had been tortured and tried in a Sharia court. Rights activists and Mosul residents contacted by AFP could not confirm that.
"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, (IS) continues to attest to its infamous nature, combining hatred, nihilism and savagery," Mladenov said.
Edward said that Nuaimi's death brought to four the number of rights activists executed in Mosul by the jihadists.
"After getting rid of the minorities, they are hunting down any Sunni they suspect of interacting with the outside world," she said.