The government itself has admitted to making nearly 34,000 arrests.
Authorities at a maximum security prison in Cairo that holds many political prisoners routinely abuse inmates in ways that may have contributed to some of their deaths.
This report, based on 23 interviews with relatives of inmates, lawyers, and a former prisoner, documents abusive conditions in Scorpion.
Some said their family members lost 29 to 34 kilograms (65 to 75 pounds) of weight.
At least six Scorpion inmates died in custody during or soon after this lockdown period (see below).
Inmates are not allowed to give interviews or communicate with people outside in any way.
On rare occasions during court hearings, they are allowed to speak briefly in the presence of the media.
While the Egyptian authorities generally try to prevent unsanctioned information about prisons from reaching the public, they go to even greater lengths at Scorpion.