Egypt's state-sanctioned human rights body says a delegation was able to visit a prison holding Muslim Brotherhood leaders but that authorities sharply limited access to prisoners.

George Ishak, a member in the National Council for Human Rights, says the delegation visiting the Tora Maximum Security Prison, popularly known as The Scorpion, on Tuesday was denied access to wards and was not allowed to meet with five ill inmates it had asked to see.

Council member Ragia Omran, a well-known rights lawyer, says she was not allowed to take part in the visit. She says that ahead of the tour and following complaints, prison authorities brought warm clothes for the prisoners.

Egypt has jailed thousands of Brotherhood members and other dissidents since the military overthrew an Islamist president in 2013.