This is the first report by a human-rights organization about Egyptian prisons based on on-site inspections. Beginning on February 12, 1992, Middle East Watch inspected six prisons in an eight-day period. These facilities housed approximately 9,800 inmates, over twenty-seven percent of Egypt's prison population. Five of the prisons are located just outside the Cairo metropolitan area: the maximum-security prison at Abu Za`bal, northeast of the city; the women's prison in Qanater, northwest of Cairo; and three prisons in the Tora complex southeast of CairoCTora Istikbal, Tora Mazraa and the maximum-security Tora Liman. The sixth facility inspected was the general prison and women's jail in Tanta, a city fifty-five miles northwest of the capital. This report is one of a series in which Human Rights Watch, through its Prison Project, has investigated conditions in prisons worldwide. To date, reports have been published on Brazil, Czechoslovakia, India, Indonesia, Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories, Jamaica, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. A report on prison conditions in South Africa will be published later this year.