NEW YORK (Jul. 22)
Soviet security police detained two American students in Kiev on July 11 after attending a party given by a local Jewish film director who was leaving the next day for Israel, according to sources who released the report today.
Sheldon Benjamin, 18, of Canton, Ohio, and Miriam Rosenblum, 20, of Columbus, Ohio, both students at the University of Cincinnati, were searched and threatened with prosecution for theft, sources said. During the two-and-a-half hours they were detained the two were not allowed to telephone the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. They were released and allowed to rejoin their tour group which left the Soviet Union yesterday for London, according to the sources. Both are on their way to Israel to work in kibbutzim.
Security police produced an alleged statement from another guest claiming that several documents, a camera and a ring had disappeared during the party. The students refused to answer any questions and were freed after being searched, the sources said. Sources attributed this incident to Soviet efforts to reduce contacts between Soviet Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel and foreigners.