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Stinking jail cell a dose of reality
CINDY WOCKNER in Denpasar, Bali

THEY are seduced by glamorous offers of international travel and instant riches - but the reality of a stinking Bali jail cell couldn't be further from the truth.

The Bali Nine are now being held in three different cell blocks, split up by Indonesian police after claims the alleged ringleaders- Myuran Sukumaran, 24, and Andrew Chan, 21 - had threatened their co-accused.

All the cellblocks are hot, filthy and crowded.

Prisoners sleep on carpet or rattan mats on the floor. Police have said this is standard practice and the Australians will not be treated any differently to other inmates.

Most crowded is the main police jail at Polda where the alleged "mules" are held - Renae Lawrence, 27, Martin Stephens, 29, and 19-year-olds Michael Czugaj and Scott Rush.

Lawrence shares the 4m by 5m women's cell with three Indonesians, who lie side by side at night to sleep.

Behind this are two cells, twice the size of the women's cell, where about 20 men are crammed, including the three Aussies.

Each cell has an Indonesian-style squat toilet and a tub of water for bathing, where cold water is ladled over one's body. Toilet paper is not provided but families can bring it in, along with towels and food.

Prisoners spend most of their time confined but are occasionally allowed out to walk around the 5sq m guard's post at the front.

On the other side of the quadrangle at Polda is where Matthew Norman, 18, Si Yi Chen, 20, and Tan Nguyen, 27, share a tiny cell.

There are no mattresses - a piece of grubby, worn blue carpet covers the whole floor area.

The last time The Sunday Mail was allowed into the cell, it housed Victorian prisoner John Ford, who was giving evidence at Schapelle Corby's drug trial in March.

It was filthy. The toilet area was black with grime and the stench was awful. There is no natural light, no free flow of air and no view of the outside world.

At Benoa, where Sukumaran is being held, conditions are tougher.

Perth yachtsman Christopher Packer, who was held there after his arrest in November on gun charges, said it was full of big cockroaches that crawled over him at night.

It was mosquito-infested and excrement was smeared on the walls.

Chan is at the Poltabes jail, where conditions are similar.

The way things operate here, complaining will do the Australians no good.

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