'We will hold both governments responsible' - Family of Ibrahim Halawa say he is 'dying' in prison
The family of jailed Irishman Ibrahim Halawa have said their son "is dying" and have claimed they will "hold both governments responsible" if anything happens to him.
Ibrahim's aunt visited him on Monday and the family have now issued a statement, urging the Taoiseach to secure his release "before it's too late".
Mr Halawa (21) was imprisoned after being detained in a mosque near Ramses Square in Cairo as the Muslim Brotherhood held a "day of rage" over the removal of elected president Mohamed Morsi in August 2013.
He is being tried with hundreds of other protestors but the trial was adjourned for the 19th time last month.
"Ibrahim is dying and we as a family will hold both governments responsible for anything to happen to him. We're running out of time, We urge the Taoiseach to at least secure his release before its too late.
"Former cell mate Peter Greste's government (Australia) was able to secure his welfare and release for the period he spent in prison. I am shocked that the Taoiseach can't at least secure his welfare nor his conditions," the statement read.
However, the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday Irish embassy officials in Egypt met with Mr Halawa.
"The Taoiseach and Minister [for Foreign Affairs] Flanagan have been working continuously to support efforts to secure Ibrahim Halawa’s early return to Ireland.
"The Taoiseach has had a number of direct and personal contacts with Egyptian President el-Sisi, in face-to-face meetings, by telephone and through written correspondence," the spokeswoman said.
Mr Halawa has penned a number of letters begging for his release and has been on hunger strike for a number of months.
His aunt said his blood sugar level has dropped to 34 after he was kept in a solitary confinement cell for 48 hours.