Demonstrations in February and March 2011 led to the use of excessive force by Omani security forces and at least two protesters were killed. On March 29, dozens of protestors were arrested and subsequently held incommunicado.
There has been a very gradual opening of the political process in Oman in recent years, including the participation of women. A round up of dozens of suspected opponents of the government at the beginning of 2005, and their subsequent sentencing to jail terms, has signaled that the tolerance of the government for dissent has limits. The death penalty remains on the books, though executions are rare.