Cyprus Mail

Inmates wed at Nicosia central prisons filmed by Netflix crew

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Prison Director Anna Aristotelous looks on as the couple are wed (Photo: Politis)

Two inmates at the central prisons in Nicosia held their nuptials on Thursday – and a Netflix crew happened to be on hand to document the unusual wedding. And no, this is not a Babylon Bee story.

The two convicts – a Greek Cypriot man and a Greek Cypriot woman – tied the knot in the chapel inside the central prisons complex.

The unnamed couple will not however be able to live together until they complete their respective sentences.

The event featured all the normal trappings – replete with a piano and a fountain for the happy couple’s wedding photograph. Later, guests attended a party where there was plenty of souvla meat to go around.

By coincidence – or not – the wedding was filmed by a crew working on a new documentary series on ‘alternative prisons’ that’s set for release on the Netflix platform in 2022.

Earlier this week, Raphael Rowe, the presenter in Netflix’s popular series ‘Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons’, arrived at the central prisons and was processed as any inmate would be.

He was ‘handcuffed’ by police and went through a regular admission interview.

According to daily Politis, Rowe was placed in wing A1 of the complex. For a week he will share a cell with a man convicted on a drugs-related charge. Rowe’s cellmate was chosen for his sound knowledge of the English language.

Nicosia’s central prisons house all types of convicts, their offences ranging from failure to pay debts and petty crimes to burglary and murder. Currently, the complex also houses Cyprus’ first and sole convicted serial killer Nicos Metaxas – serving out a life sentence for the murders of five women and two children.

For Rowe, the draw appears to be the attempts by warden Anna Aristotelous to turn the prisons into a bone fide correctional facility – with a softer touch and a focus on eliminating recidivism. She took over the facility after a number of incidents including inmate deaths and suicides.

In 1990 Rowe himself was wrongfully convicted for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. During his incarceration, he studied journalism through a correspondence course. The now 53-year-old, who always maintained his innocence, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights and convinced the court that he had not received a fair trial. He was acquitted and released in 2000.

Rowe hosted seasons 2, 3, 4 and 5 of ‘Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons’, commissioned by Netflix.

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