It has had pernicious, copycat consequences: just last week, China adopted the same approach in sanctioning British lawyers and parliamentarians merely for investigating as possible genocide the mistreatment of the Uyghurs,” he said.

I think that as possible genocide here means a treatment which can possibly amount to a genocide.

I couldn't find a similar example in dictionaries. Is this phrase a common one?


1 Answer 1


Yes, that is what it means. The mistreatment is known, but whether it amounts to genocide is being investigated.

The phrase (without the 'genocide') is quite common:

"...investigating as possible murder the sudden deaths of three dissidents."
"...investigating as possible theft the disappearance of the statue."

The crimes - genocide, murder, theft - are singular but the phrase is also commonly used with plurals:

"...interviewing as possible candidates the three French diplomats."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .