Joe Sarlak in a Qatari prison hospital in 2017 (Image: Supplied)

Australian grandfather Joe Sarlak was imprisoned in Qatar for nearly three years and is still stuck abroad with pending legal cases.

He alleges the Australian government has done little to help and his representative and human rights activist Radha Stirling says the government has never contacted its diplomatic counterparts to campaign for his release.

That is a stark contrast to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (DFAT) efforts to secure the release of academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert who was detained in Iran.