The family of Ibrahim Halawa, who is said to be facing the death penalty in Eygpt, say he feels he is being treated as a second class citizen by his Government.

The 19-year-old from Tallaght in Dublin has been held for 18 months since being arrested at a demonstration in Cairo.

He now faces a mass trial with 493 others next Sunday on charges of murder, attempted murder and participating in an illegal protest.

But Amnesty International, which has investigated the case, says he has no case to answer and has declared him a prisoner of conscience.

Today his sisters Fatima and Somaia, who were also imprisoned for three months following the protest, held a press conference today urging the Government to do more to secure their brother's release.

They point out that all other foreign prisoners from the UK, US, Turkey, Canada and Australia have been released following pressure from their respective governments.

Somaia said Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has called for a separate and fair trial for Ibrahim Halawa and has also applied for a Presidential pardon through the prosecutor’s office.

But Fatima Halawa says the pressure must be made directly to the Egyptian government to have any effect.

However a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said "an enormous amount of work" had been done in the case.

The spokesperson said that the minister had met with the Egyptian Foreign Minister on several occasions and as recently as earlier this month in Geneva.

The minister had asked his Egyptian counterpart for a review of the case, that Ibrahim be released and allowed home to resume his studies.

Irish consular officials have also visited Ibrahim in prison on 30 occasions.