Cycling’s world governing body revealed Monday it coordinated the evacuation of 165 refugees out of Afghanistan following the country’s takeover by the Taliban.
The Union Cycliste International, based in Switzerland, said 125 of them fled as part of a “vast operation” it carried out along with several partners in which female cyclists, artists, a judge, a number of journalists and human rights campaigners were successfully taken out of the country.
The group said the effort was launched when some Afghans, particularly women, voiced fears for their lives and safety as the Taliban took power and appealed to the world cycling community and the Olympic movement for help.
They reached Europe via Albania, UCI officials said. Thirty-eight of the refugees are being settled in Switzerland with the others going to Canada, France, Israel and the United States.