Frankfurt Magzin

Investigative Report: Equidem Research and Consulting is funded by UAE

Emirates long list of propagandists, PR experts has just added one more dodgy character who thinks Emirates is the Oasis of freedom of expression and labour- friendly spot. Mustafa Qadri who is the Founder and Executive Director of Equidem Research and Consulting, is marketing himself as “a specialist in human rights and labour rights investigative activist”. But in real terms, Mustafa Qadri is neither activist nor a human rights defender. He is simply a capitalist who is “pocketing” money from the Sheikhs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi whereby he acts as their “human rights” front to attack Qatar or UAE foes. As per UK Companies House Record, Qadri is a fraudulent and tax evasion character who is in court now for committing financial crimes against the Clydesdale Bank in Scotland.

In this Investigative report we provide exclusive information about Qadri’s UAE Links, size of UAE funding to his companies and organisations. The report also provides comparative and statistical analysis of Qadri’s coverage of human rights abuses in the Gulf region. The analysis is designed to measure the credibility of Qadri and the motives behind that. This report also tracks his financial activities in the UK and strive to expose his illegal money laundering and tax evasion activities.

Its rather bewildering and puzzling to see the contradiction of Mustafa Qadri. In one hand he claims to defend migrant workers in Gulf region, while in the other hand is receiving direct funding from UAE government and its different
agencies. Qadri doesn’t operate under charitable status nor any advocacy structure in the UK. He is a profiteer who is making a career by exploiting migrant crisis in Gulf region. As we demonstrate in this report; Qadri using UAE cash to run his company where he pumps it as “Capital” paid by company shareholder.

Abu Dhabi Environment Network website publicly confirmed that Equidem has received funding from UAE government and its strategic partners as shown in the images below. A press release published in Arabic Language suggest clearly that Qadri has received money from that network and strategic partners who are government agencies or semi government entities.

The following excerpt is part of what Qadri said about his joint projects with UAE governments. One can easily notice the “diplomatic” tone towards UAE where he provides and advise and recommendations and applaud their good record and intention.

Mustafa Qadri, CEO of Equidem Research & Consulting, said: “As the UAE moves forward with the transition towards MM. In line with the highest
international standards, the most sustainable business has become an opportunity for stakeholders within built environments to address issues related to workers’ well-being and improve their financial conditions. We all know that
there are thousands of workers in Dubai and other emirates working in the construction and construction sector and other related sectors, sending valuable remittances to their countries and learning important skills. Through the
capacity development program, we seek to empower these workers to know their rights, educate employers and other stakeholders and provide them with information and guidance to enhance workers’ well-being and improve their
financial conditions, which is a key pillar of the establishment of sustainable

إطلاق برنامج “ممارسات العمل المسؤولة اجتماعياً” ضمن البيئات العمرانية – :urban environments.” Source ) بيئة أبوظبي
وقال مصطفى قادري، المدير التنفيذي لشركة “إيكوديم للأبحاث والاستشارات”: “في ضوء مضي دولة الإمارات قدماً بمسيرة التحول نحو ممارسات الأعمال الأكثر استدامة بما يتماشى مع أرقى المعايير الدولية، أصبحت الفرصة مواتية للأطراف المعنية ضمن البيئات العمرانية لمعالجة القضايا المرتبطة بعافية العمال وتحسين ظروفهم المالية. ونعلم جميعاً بوجود آلاف العمال في دبي والإمارات الأخرى ويعملون في قطاع الإنشاء والتشييد والقطاعات الأخرى المرتبطة بها، ويرسلون تحويلات مالية قيمة إلى بلدانهم ويتعلمون مهارات مهمة. لذلك نسعى من خلال برنامج تطوير القدرات لتمكين هؤلاء العمال من معرفة حقوقهم وتوعية أصحاب العمل والأطراف المعنية الآخرين وتزويدهم بالمعلومات والإرشادات الكفيلة بتعزيز رفاه العمال .”وتحسين ظروفهم المالية، الأمر الذي يعتبر ركيزة رئيسية لتأسيس بيئات عمرانية مستدامة

Such tone are never seen in his statements towards Qatar, Saudi Arabi and others. Why this sudden change of tone? Why has Qadri done nothing, or little do advocate for the rights of migrant workers in UAE? Why Qadri’s organisation spoke of nothing about slavery conditions of Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and other Asian workers in Dubai? The hypocrisy and double standards of Qadri are explicit and scandalous whereby he is not qualified to act or work as human rights campaigner or defender.

B- Who is Mustafa Qadri?
Mustafa Syed Qadri is an australian citizen of Pakistani origin who migrated from Australia to the UK and previously worked in Pakistan in the field of human rights research. In his early years as a human rights researcher, Mustafa Qadri, did deliver various reports in the Gulf region in the capacity of being “Gulf migrants’ researcher at Amnesty” and Pakistan researcher previously.

As Qadri started to make the headlines while working for these organizations, the Emirates quickly started to use his services as the next “Master” of anti- Qatar human rights reports. Upon an agreement with Emirates Sheiks, he inaugurated his London based limited Company, “Equidem Research and Consulting” which is a profit for company disguised under a charitable and noble goal which is defending migrant workers and victims of human rights violations. A considerable cash budget was allocated to Qadri between 2016 to 2022 exceeding $ 6 million to wage propaganda campaign against Qatar human rights record and its efforts to host the world cup. The budgets were mostly used in the Media relations field to circulate fake data, press releases on Qatar’s world cup preparations.

Google Search results between 2010 to 2014 demonstrated how Qadri’s work was focused on human rights abuses across many countries. Yet, Google search results from 2016 can easily and evidently demonstrate how he was transformed from a human rights defender into Emirati propaganda tool. In the below section we take random samples on how Qadri advocacy for Asian migrant workers worked. The random samples concluded that Qadri has just singled out one country. He ignored human atrocities in UAE such as slavery of migrant workers, daily deaths in the construction fields.

He also ignored discriminated in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman whereby Asian migrant workers are discriminated about. His disproportionate criticism of one country and ignoring the others were alarming and indicated “political reasons” behind his motives.

D- Equidem‘s Twitter Analysis
Our basic statistical research into Equidem’s Twitter account revealed that Qatar was mentioned negatively in more than 95 tweets meanwhile UAE was mentioned 25 times 20 of those tweets were advisory style to the Emirates government meanwhile 5 tweets describing some human rights violations. Saudi Arabia was mentioned 20 times at least half of them were critical. No tweets against Bahrain, Kuwaiti, one Omani human rights violations. In fact out of the 1165 tweets published on their Official account; Qatar has the lion share of negative criticism.

E- UAE Direct and Conditional Funding

UAE and Saudi efforts to undermine Qatar’s credibility on human rights field is public. Both countries spared no effort to smear Qatar and hinder its work to host World Cup 2022. The Guardian revealed that Lynton Crosby was offered £5.5m to undermine 2022 Qatar World Cup. Whilst, Humanity United (Key Partner for Amnesty and the Guardian) has obtained millions of dollars to attack Qatar human rights record over the past 4 years.
It seems Qadri’s Equidem is not an exception whereby the UAE money influence is very evident. Qadri’s bias is very obvious.

Documents obtained by Emirates Leaks revealed how the UAE recruited the Australian-Pakistani activist Mustafa Qadri to work among its mercenaries in order to whitewash Abu Dhabi’s reputation and attack its political opponents.
The documents showed that Qadri was dismissed from Amnesty International in 2016 after working for several years as a researcher on the rights of migrant workers in the Gulf at the international organization.

The documents confirmed that Qadri was dismissed after it was proven that he was subject to an investigation on charges of receiving large financial bribes from the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to avoid criticism of Manama and focus in his work on attacking Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

After his dismissal, Qadri established the “Equidem” organization for research and consultancy, thanks to direct and indirect financial contributions from the UAE to work among its mercenaries. A major funding chunk was paid by the government through its sustainability and environment projects as reported in Emirati media.
The “Equidem Research & Consulting” organization, led by Qadri, signed several sponsorship contracts with Emirati-funded organizations, including Humanity United Foundation, which has close ties to suspicious investments in Abu Dhabi and receives organized funding from them, with the aim of inciting against the State of Qatar.

The documents showed that the UAE paid financial commissions amounting to tens of millions of dollars to those in charge of the Humanity United Foundation for the purpose of publishing fabricated articles and reports against Doha.

The lack of transparency in Qadri’s work as well as his organisation is not limited to his human rights advocacy efforts. It goes beyond that where his finances and those of his organisation’ are also apparent. For the following reasons:

1-   Equidem Research and Consulting Ltd Company number 10204534 is incorporated in the UK as profit for company where the nature of the business is declared as “74909 – Other professional, scientific and technical activities not elsewhere classified”. Whilst, in fact he does nothing of such activities and alternatively carry out charitable and advocacy activities that are supposed to be registered in charitable or limited by guarantee entity.

2-    His profit for company (not charitable but designed for generating profit) has no physical existence in the UK whatsoever and don’t operate by any means or shape in the UK. The address he is using is virtual address used by more than 60,000 other UK based profit for companies. See the image above captured from UK Companies House.

3-    The company has sole director, Mr. Qadri and has no employees at all. Mr. Qadri is also the director of the never-existing board. The company which does a lot of work including research, media outreach, public relations and many more activities don’t have a single staffer other than the sole director, Mr. Qadri. This indeed raises a lot of questions on this shell entity and the reason of its creation. The below images captured from UK Company house, the filing of Equidem.

4-    Item 5 of his accounts as shown above is very clear money laundering activity as his company accounts include income from trade debtors at 84.948 in 2021 and 62.982 in 2020. In 2019, his debt from trade creditors stood at 63,315 and 7,457.

5-    In both years 2020 and 2021, Qadri the director pumped cash into the company as shareholder and director. Although he can legally add cash to his company in its early years, its very clear that adding cash every year without showing any income raises a lot of questions about this source of money which is apparently cash paid by UAE and its agencies in London and Abu Dhabi. As shown in item 6 of them image above the company kept making losses and acquire unjustified loans and debts.

6-    The “dodginess’’ of Qadri and his company is beyond expectation where he was cautioned and charged by court representative due to fraudulent loan activities. Qadri obtained illegally loans for real estate purchase and failed to pay the bank. Until this moment, Qadri has outstanding payments to make for Clydesdale Bank in Scotland. Below are excerpts of the Court cautions signed by Qadri upon receipt of relevant orders.


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