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The only freed member of the Bali Nine, Renae Lawrence, has described what life was like inside one of the world’s most notorious prisons.

Speaking on Sunday for the first time since she was released from a Balinese prison and deported in November 2018, she gave an insight into life behind bars.

Lawrence was one of nine Australians convicted for attempting to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005.

Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were sentenced to death and executed a decade later.

Six others were sentenced to life behind, while Lawrence was given a 20-year sentence.

She was released in 2018.

The Bali Nine were a group of nine Australians convicted for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroin out of Indonesia in April 2005
The Bali Nine were a group of nine Australians convicted for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroin out of Indonesia in April 2005

Lawrence remained mum on life in Bali until Sunday, holding a press conference at the same time that Indonesian President Joko Widodo landed in Canberra.

“During my time in Kerobokan jail I learnt to speak Bahasa reasonably well and became trusted by the prison officers enough to be able to assist in everyday chores in Kerobokan,” she said.

Australian convicted drug smugglers Renae Lawrence (left) and Schapelle Corby inside Kerobokan Jail. Credit Ketut Karna AAP

However, she also called for reduced sentences for the remaining members of the Bali Nine.

Fellow smugglers Matthew Norman, Michael Czugaj, Scott Rush, Martin Stephens and Si Yi Chen are staring down life sentences and are “losing hope”, Lawrence said.

“Their families constantly travel to Indonesia to visit their sons at great expense,” she said.

“Yet their anguish remains and as each year goes by these young men are losing hope. We acknowledge that we did the wrong thing and we continue to apologise to the Indonesian Government and the Citizens of Indonesia for our stupidity.

“If it were possible that they be granted a determinant sentence that hope would return.”

Renae Lawrence after her sentencing at Denpasar Court in 2006. Credit: Jason Childs/Getty

She also suggested a prisoner swap so they could complete their sentences in Australia.

“These humane actions would in some small part bring our nations further together.”

Whether Widodo and Prime Minister Scott Morrison discuss the Bali Nine during the visit remains to be seen.

Source: 7 News

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