Persons may be detained in police, prisons or other facilities without being allowed to notify family or friends of their arrest and place of custody. Frequently other branches of government, like the judicial, are notified as required by law. Persons may be moved from one facility to another. Detainees may be denied any communication with the outside for any reason, such as need for medical attention. Interrogation can take place without interference from lawyers, family or friends of the detainee. The marks of torture also disappear. If the victim dies, the body can be disposed of without having to explain the death. Incommunicado detention re-enforces the victim's sense of isolation and powerlessness. Those most likely to be tortured are those held incommunicado.
Incommunicado detention has been reported in the following countries:
For security reasons a person must be held incommunicado for a certain period in order to collect information and evidence which under no circumstances should be allowed to come to the knowledge of his accomplices. Should he have the right to see his counsel or his relatives, vital information might be leaked to the outside world.