Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Saudi Arabia)

Country: Saudi Arabia
Details of Formation: The PGM was founded by King Fahd in 1985 to ensure compliance of civilians with Sharia law. (Wikipedia)
Details of Termination: still active
Purpose: The militia was used by the government to enforce strict Islamic laws. It was created by the government to ensure that citizens and foreigners abide by Sharia law and were often accompanied by police to arrest suspects. (Wikipedia)
Organisation: The head of the organization was a member of Saudi Arabia’s cabinet and under direct control of the king. It operated as an official government agency. The agency had 3,500 to 4,000 field officers and about 10,000 administrative personnel. (Wikipedia)
Weapons and Training: Militiamen carried sticks and whips to beat civilians who did not obey the religious laws.
Size: The militia was comprised of field officers and administrative personnel. While there were about 4,000 field officers, there were about 10,000 administrative personnel. (Lief 2013)
Reason for Membership: Members were largely uneducated, but there is no information on why they joined the committee.
Treatment of Civilians: The militia patrolled streets, attacked and arrested civilians who disobeyed the strict Islamic laws. In 2002, sources reported of several girls dying in a burning school as militia members have stopped rescuers to enter due to the girls’ non-compliance with Sharia dress code. In 2007, after public criticism increased, the government has reduced the militia’s powers and members are not armed with canes any longer. (Zoepf 2013)
Other Information: Other names include Mutaween and Hai’a. (Wikipedia)
References: Lief, Louise. 2013. “With youth pounding at kingdom's gates, Saudi Arabia begins religious police reform”. Christian Science Monitor.

Wikipedia. “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Saudi Arabia)”.

Zoepf, Katherine. 2013. “Letters from Riyadh. Shopgirls. The art of selling lingerie”. The New Yorker

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.