The lawyer for a Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist is blasting the Canadian government for not doing enough to secure his release from Egypt.

Journalist Mohamed Fahmy is out on bail awaiting retrial after more than a year behind bars in Egypt on terrorism-related charges.

Lawyer Amal Clooney said in a statement Thursday that Canada's "sheepish whimpers are woefully inadequate." Clooney said calls for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pick up the phone to personally intervene have "so far fallen on deaf ears."

Clooney also said the Canadian government received assurances Fahmy would be released and when that didn't happen, it merely issued a short statement by a junior minister calling for his release.

Carl Vallee, a Harper spokesman, says Harper has personally raised the case with the Egyptian president.