N. Koreans jailed for their Christianity are forced to drink water containing ...

North Korean prisoners are forced to drink river water tainted with the ashes of their dead fellow inmates – and all for the crime of watching a foreign soap opera.

The horrific reality of life within Kim Jong-un's gulags was exposed by former prisoners who survived the living nightmare of Chongori concentration camp.

It's a camp where North Koreans can find themselves locked up for acts as innocuous as watching South Korean TV or following the Christian faith. 

One former prisoner recalled: 'Every Monday, we burned the corpses… there's a place that looked like a house, and we piled the corpses in the round tank in it.

The Kyo-hwa-so (reeducation camp) No. 12 – is in North Hamgyong Province, in North Korea's far northeast. The size of the facility is around six acres and it is estimated the 4,000 men and 1,000 women are detained there

 The Kyo-hwa-so (reeducation camp) No. 12 – is in North Hamgyong Province, in North Korea's far northeast. The size of the facility is around six acres and it is estimated the 4,000 men and 1,000 women are detained there

A map of worksites surrounding the main prison complex, including copper mines and a crematory

 A map of worksites surrounding the main prison complex, including copper mines and a crematory

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (pictured speaking to advisers outside a new hospital in July) rules over his people with an iron fist, in the vein of the totalitarian dictators of the early 20th century

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (pictured speaking to advisers outside a new hospital in July) rules over his people with an iron fist, in the vein of the totalitarian dictators of the early 20th century

'The facility was drenched in the smell of blood and rotting or burning corpses. 'After burning the corpses, they stacked up ashes next to the site. The ashes were used as a compost for farming.

'When it rained, the ashes flowed into the river, and the prisoners drank the river water and used it to shower.' 

They also recalled how, on rainy days, when the wood got wet, bodies would not burn as well.

On one occasion, the former prisoner even found themselves tripping over disembodied toes.

They said: 'I fell on something. At first, I thought I was stuck on a tree, but when I looked closer, it was a toe.

'I climbed the mountain following the ash and there were five toes right in front of me. I was so surprised.'

Conguri has a high mortality rate due to 'injury, illness, or physical and mental abuse by prison officials'. 

A detailed map of the facilities at Kyo-hwa-so, a gulag which houses around 5,000 prisoners

A detailed map of the facilities at Kyo-hwa-so, a gulag which houses around 5,000 prisoners

A mine waste pond and a dam close to the prison of Kyo-hwa-so in the country's far northeast

A mine waste pond and a dam close to the prison of Kyo-hwa-so in the country's far northeast

The escapee, whose identity has been protected, made their horrifying disclosure in a new report published by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

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