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"Let her have some dignity". Why Australians are defending Renae Lawrence against the media.

Freed Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence has garnered sympathy from some Australians after being hounded by the media as she touched down on home soil for the first time in more than 13 years.

Dozens of reporters, photographers and camera crews were waiting as the 41-year-old flew in to Brisbane airport early on Thursday morning after being released from a Bali prison overnight.

TV morning shows crossed live to the airport as an anxious looking Lawrence, her mother and step-brother, dodged the media pack as they made their way from the international arrivals hall to the domestic terminal so they could board a flight to Newcastle.

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The media coverage left many viewers less than impressed and sparked calls for Lawrence to be left alone as she had already served more than 13 years in jail for her role in a 2005 plot to import more than 8kg of heroin to Australia from Indonesia.

Many took to social media to accuse the media of harassing Lawrence and question whether there was actually any public interest in the return of a convicted drug smuggler.

“Given Renae has completed her sentence of 13 years which is substantially more than she would receive in Australia and has made it clear she does not want to speak to the media, at what point does that behaviour from the media become bullying and abuse,” Peter Bax tweeted.

Former broadcaster Mike Carlton blasted the media scrum.

Former Greens leader Christine Milne called on the media to leave Lawrence alone and cover other more worthy stories.

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While Nine’s Today Show and Seven’s Sunrise programs attracted plenty of outrage on Twitter for their coverage of Lawrence, several viewers of the ABC’s News Breakfast program attacked the public broadcaster for “hounding” Lawrence.

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