SOCAR security guards (Azerbaijan)

Country: Azerbaijan
Details of Formation: Paramilitary formations under the guise of security officers formed since the beginning of 2000s. The SOCAR security guards were first mentioned in 2011 (Wikipedia). In 2012, they were involved in an operation against journalists alongside police and used batons (Amnesty International). It is unclear whether they were armed before that event.
Details of Termination: --
Purpose: SOCAR security guards are used as punitive squads against protesters and to disperse opposition. In 2012, they were used to suppress negative media coverage ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest (Amnesty International).
Organisation: The SOCAR security forces belong to the state-owned SOCAR company (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic).
Weapons and Training: The SOCAR security guards received Israeli-made UZI machine pistols from the Azerbaijani authorities in 2013. They also received training on the use of military weapons.
Size: In 2013, a news source estimates that the group has around 5,000-6,000 members.
Reason for Membership: Members were recruited to participate in the group.
Treatment of Civilians: In 2012, the SOCAR security guards alongside police demolished houses in Sulutepe and attacked its residents. When journalists arrived they beat them heavily while police looked on (Amnesty International). The SOCAR are used as punitive squad against protesters.
Other Information: At the beginning, athletes, including masters of martial arts, were recruited for the PGM. Later, the focus lay on recruiting young men in great physical shape.
References: Amnesty International. 2012. “Azerbaijan: Journalists brutally attacked amid crackdown
ahead of Eurovision.“ 18 April.

Wikipedia. “Idrak Abbasov”.