Our team

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)


Prof. dr. Iman Lechkar

Iman Lechkar edit

REGUIDE project coordinator, professor, and promoter VUB

Iman Lechkar (PhD in social and cultural anthropology) is Professor & Fatima Mernissi Chair Holder at the Political Science department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and RHEA, the VUB research Centre on Gender, Diversity and intersectionality.

As Fatima Mernissi Chairholder, she teaches a course on Islam and Gender and organizes public activities and lectures on the nexus of Islam, Gender and Power.

Iman Lechkar is currently supervisor of the FWO research project (2020-2024): “Islam in Brussels Prisons: an ethnographic study on prison policies, experiences and masculinities” (with co-supervisor Prof. An- Sofie Vanhouche) and coordinator of the BESLPO- BRAIN- be 2.0 research project REGUIDE (2021-2025): A Holistic, Restorative and Gendered approach to Guide Returnees to their Home country.

Her teaching, research and societal engagement address questions of Islam & gender, religion, race & secularism, conversion, identities & authorities, citizenship, subjectivity, agency, affect and (visual) methodologies. Iman Lechkar is frequently invited as a guest speaker and publishes in national, international journals and books.


Prof. dr. Gerrit Loots

Gerrit Loots-1

Emeritus Professor
and co-promoter VUB

Gerrit Loots studied Psychology and Social and Cultural Anthropology. He specialized in Child and Family therapy and holds a PhD in Psychology. He was a professor in counseling and psychotherapy at the Department of Psychology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Currently, he is chair of the Research Group Qualitative Research in Action (QRIA) and teaches advanced qualitative research at the Department of Sociology. He is a visiting professor at the Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo at La Paz.

His fields of research are infant psychology, more specific early parent-child interaction, psychosocial wellbeing of children affected by war, migration, poverty and social exclusion, and family and relational therapy, as well as community-based research and development.


Hannan Jamaï

Hannan Jamaï

PhD student

Graduated as a clinical psychologist at the Free University of Brussels, Hannan started as a crisis counselor at the CAW (Centrum Algemeen Welzijnswerk). From here on her interest in working systemically with individuals and families grew and led her to obtain a postgraduate degree in relationship, family and systemic psychotherapy. She is also interested in trauma and works as an EMDR practitioner (in training).

Since 2018, she has been actively promoting the repatriation of stranded children and their mothers in the camps in Northeast Syria and is following up on the children and women who have already returned. 

Within the framework of a doctoral research supervised by Prof. dr. Iman Lechkar and Prof. dr. Gerrit Loots, Hannan will focus on workpackage 5: Developing a Sustainable Restorative Approach (SRA) with returnees for their reintegration in society.


Jihane Sliti

PhD student

Jihane is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science. After obtaining a BA in Journalism from the Erasmushogeschool Brussel (EhB), she obtained a MSc in Political Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

With her experience in Journalism and interest in politics and intersectionality, Jihane is currently conducting a PhD research under the supervision of Prof. dr. Iman Lechkar and Prof. dr. Karen Celis (Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Within the REGUIDE project, Jihane will be working on workpackage 2: an analysis of political and media debates on the reintegration of returnees.

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)


Prof. dr. Nadia Fadil

Nadia Fadil

Associate professor and promoter KU Leuven

Nadia Fadil works as an Associate Professor at the IMMRC (Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre) at the University of Leuven. Her work centers on Islam in Europe (taking Brussels as ethnographic site), both as a lived tradition as well as an object of regulation. She draws on this empirical question to reflect on a vast set of theoretical issues like subjectivity and power, ethical selfhood, postcoloniality, governmentality, race and secularism.

Her most recent publications include Secular Bodies, Affects and Emotions. European configurations (with Monique Scheer and Birgitte Scheplern Johansen, Bloomsbury 2019) and Radicalization in Belgium and the Netherlands. Critical perspectives on Violence and Security (with Martijn de Koning and Francesco Ragazzi, IB Tauris 2019).

Within the REGUIDE project, she will be overlooking the analysis of the public policies on the reintegration of returnees and participate in the development of sustainable and restorative-based reintegration trajectories with the returnees, their families and relevant stakeholders.


Prof. dr. Brunilda Pali

Brunilda Pali

Post-doctoral researcher and co-promoter KU Leuven

Brunilda Pali (PhD) is Senior Researcher at KU Leuven and Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. She is currently a board member and Secretary of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ).

Brunilda has studied Psychology at the University of Bosphorus in Istanbul, Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Cultural Studies at Bilgi University in Istanbul, and Criminology at KU Leuven Belgium. Her areas of interest are gender, critical social theory, social justice, restorative justice, cultural and critical criminology, and arts.


dr. Montassir Sakhi

Montassir Sakhi

Post-doctoral researcher KU Leuven

Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the KU Leuven, Montassir Sakhi is conducting research on the reintegration of Belgians returning from Syria. In 2020 he defended a thesis in anthropology entitled “The State and the Revolution. Discourses and counter-discourses of Jihad: Syria, Iraq, France” at the Paris 8 University.
His multi-sited research focuses on the phenomena of war, borders, transformations of politico-religious discourses and the emergence of new social movements confronted with the problems of power in modern nation-states. 

Within the REGUIDE project, he is required to make a study on two aspects. On the one hand, public policy and professionals involved in the prevention of terrorism, and on the other hand, the reintegration of people who left to join the jihad in Syria and returned to their country of origin, Belgium.

Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles (USL-B)


Prof. dr. Jogchum Vrielink

Jogchum Vrielink-1


Jogchum Vrielink (PhD) is a professor in discrimination law, law & religion and human rights at the Université Saint Louis Brussels. Previously he was coordinator of the Centre for discrimination law (University of Leuven) and academic manager of the European 7th Framework Project RELIGARE (about religion and the law). He holds a PhD in law, and also studied public administration and anthropology.  

His research topics include discrimination law, fundamental and human rights (freedom of expression and freedom of religion in particular) and legal anthropology. Jogchum Vrielink has published widely in national and international journals and books on these issues. Furthermore, he is frequently invited as guest lecturer and speaker on issues pertaining to his specializations. 


Ward Yperman


Ward Yperman obtained his Master’s in Law at KU Leuven in 2015 and his MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Oxford in 2017. Since then he has been a researcher at the KU Leuven Institute of Criminal Law, before joining the Reguide team at the Université Saint-Louis in February 2022. He is writing a PhD titled “Restricting liberty to prevent terrorism” under the supervision of professor Bart Spriet (KU Leuven) and professor Helen Fenwick (Durham University) and has published both nationally and internationally on the topic of terrorism and criminal law. 

His further research interests include digital investigatory measures and correctionalisation. In addition to being part of the Reguide team, Ward is also the vice-president of the supervisory committee of the Leuven-Centraal prison.

Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie (NICC/INCC)


Isabelle Detry

Master of Laws and promoter NiCC

Isabelle Detry holds a Master’s degree in Law from Université catholique de Louvain (UC Louvain) and a Master’s degree in European Criminology from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven). She was a lawyer at the Brussels Bar from 1990 to 1997 and is a researcher at the NICC since 2004, where she conducts several studies on juvenile delinquency, and the use of criminal justice databases.

In order to acquire knowledge on the recent phenomena of political violence, during the past few years, she attended courses on Contemporary Islam (Saint Louis, UC Louvain) and Migration (ULB).

Moreover, she was a member of the working group set up by the office of the Minister of Justice relating to the apprehension and treatment of hate speech on the Internet as well as a member of the working group set up by the College of Prosecutors General on the application (and evaluation) of COL 13/2013 concerning matters of discrimination.


dr. Benjamin Mine

Post-doctoral researcher and co-promoter nicc

Benjamin Mine studied Criminology at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain, Lic., 2003). He obtained his PhD in Criminology in 2009 from the same university (supervisor: Professor Fabienne Brion). His doctoral thesis concerned the regulation of the sectarian phenomenon in Belgium.  

Since June 2009, he has worked as a researcher at the Criminology Department of the National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (Federal Public Service Justice) where he has participated in several research projects in areas related to criminal justice (sentencing, serving of sentences and [alternative] measures, social drug-related crime prevention, recidivism,…). In recent years, his research activities have been particularly concerned with recidivism, drug policies (in detention) and the criminal careers. 


dr. Patrick Jeuniaux


Patrick Jeuniaux holds a Ph.D. in Psycholinguistics from University of Memphis, TN, USA, and degrees in psychology (UC Louvain), statistics (UC Louvain) and artificial intelligence (KU Leuven).  

Since 2010, he has worked at the NICC as a researcher on issues at the crossroad of forensic science and criminology. His main contributions are in the domain of data analysis. 


Coline Remacle

Researcher NICC

Coline Remacle works at the Department of Criminology of the National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology since 2017. She holds a Master of Criminology and a Master in Human Rights. She realized a research aimed to understanding the impact of public policies on the counterterrorism and the prevention of radicalization on social cohesion and liberties (AFFECT project). In the framework of the REGUIDE project, she’s currently working on the post-conviction reintegration of returnees.