Revolutionary Committees (Libya)

Country: Libya
Details of Formation: The Revolutionary Committees were instituted and encouraged by Gaddafi in 1977.
Details of Termination: The group was loyal to Gaddafi. It is therefore coded as terminated the day the NTC is recognized as new Libyan government in August 2011.
Purpose: The primary purpose of this group was to gather intelligence on the population (Amnesty International 2011, Wikipedia). After the coup attempt of 1984, Gaddafi relied heavily on it, because he had lost trust in the army.
Organisation: In 1986, a news source reports that the Revolutionary Committees were headed by Maj. Abdul Salam Jalloud, Libya’s number 2 leader. It was part of the “revolutionary sector” headed by Gaddafi, the Revolutionary Committees and members of the Revolutionary Command Council. It had large political powers, which were curtailed by Gaddafi in 1988 due to popular dissatisfaction (Wikipedia).
Weapons and Training: The government supplied the Revolutionary Committees with large supplies of arms and ammunition. In 2011, witnesses saw members of the Revolutionary Committees with machine guns.
Size: A news source from 1984 estimates membership to be between 300-400 civilians. In 1992, another news source mentions a membership of 25,000. Around 10-20% of the population is estimated to have worked in surveillance for these committees (Wikipedia).
Reason for Membership: Members are characterized by their support for Gaddafi. Many are from poor backgrounds and/or reliable tribes.
Treatment of Civilians: After the coup attempt of 1984, the Revolutionary Committees arrested and interrogated between 2,000-20,000 people, mainly civilians. In 1986, there are reports that they arrested people arbitrarily and seized property and run hit squads to kill Libyan exiles. In 1995, the Revolutionary Committees forced the population to sign a petition calling for the execution of nine people, some of them were civilians (Amensty International 1995). In 2011, they carried out targeted and indiscriminate armed attacks, with civilian victims (Amnesty International 2011). That year, a news source reports that they used live ammunition against protesters, killing at least four.
Other Information: The Revolutionary Committees are similar to the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. They were active on every level of society.
References: Amnesty International. 1995. “Further information on UA 113/94.” AI Index: MDE 19/03/95
(I could not find information on the date of publication, but from the publications’ information (deadline of sending telegrams, and information on content) it can be inferred that it was 1995.

Amnesty International. 2011. “Tensions rise in Benghazi as al-Gaddafi forces mount attacks.“

Wikipedia. “Politics of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi”.