News in Brief 12 July 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Exterior of the Peace Palace, Netherlands.UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Tribunal rules on South China Sea dispute

China's sole claim to a stretch of water in the South China Sea is unjustified, a UN-recognised tribunal announced on Tuesday.

The dispute is between China and the Philippines, which sought the help of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2013.

China has consistently rejected the court's jurisdiction in the matter.

According to the Philippines, China's actions inside the so-called "nine-dash line" area, which runs close to the shores of neighbouring countries, contravene the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In its ruling, the tribunal noted that although Chinese fishermen had historically made use of islands in the disputed zone, there was no evidence that China had always exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources.

Killing of Cambodian activist "shows need for government action"

The killing of a prominent Cambodian rights activist must not be allowed to go unpunished ahead of elections in the country, the UN has said.

Kem Ley, who was also a well-known political analyst, died after he was shot at a petrol station in the capital, Phnom Penh, on Sunday.

A suspect is in police custody.

The UN Human Rights Office OHCHR condemned the killing and called for further action from the government, which has announced an investigation.

Here's OHCHR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly:

"Of course it will be very important that the Cambodian authorities take measures to avoid this kind of crime to repeat itself, which means protection measures for human rights defenders, political figures and civil society members. You know there has been increasing political tensions in recent weeks."

The killing of Kem Ley comes ahead of local and national elections in Cambodia, where the UN agency said it was important that people were able to fully participate" in public debate.

Car bomb attack outside Baghdad market condemned by UN

A suicide truck bombing at a crowded vegetable and fruit market in a district north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad has been strongly condemned by the UN envoy for the country.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ján Kubiš deplored the targeting of innocent women, men and children who were shopping during the morning rush hour.

He said the attack is one more proof of the terrorists' "wicked ways".

Many people were killed or wounded in the blast, Mr Kubiš added.

The suicide bombing comes on the heels of a massive suicide bombing in Karada on 3 July in central Baghdad and another bombing on a Shia shrine in Balad north of the capital last week.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 2’33″

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