Two Russian online film distributors charged under 'LGBT propaganda' law

(Reuters) - Two Russian online film distributors, including a company owned by Nasdaq-listed internet giant Yandex, have been charged with offences under the country's so-called "LGBT propaganda" law, a notice on a Moscow court's website said.

Russia last year expanded its restrictions on the promotion of what it calls LGBT propaganda amid a broader clampdown on LGBT rights, which President Vladimir Putin has sought to portray as evidence of moral decay in Western countries.

The companies, Kinopoisk and Restream Media, face an administrative case for the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" or "gender reassignment" online, according to the notice posted on Wednesday.

Separate charges were filed on Wednesday against two Kinopoisk and Restream Media executives for the same offence, an online court notice showed.

Yandex-owned Kinopoisk and Restream Media, majority-owned by digital services giant Rostelecom, have both been fined repeatedly under a similar article banning the "demonstration" of LGBT relationships to minors.

That resulted from them listing films such as "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "Perfect Strangers" without an 18+ label.

A spokesperson for Kinopoisk told Reuters that the charge was related to its listing of the U.S. television series "Supergirl", which features a same-sex relationship, and that the company planned to challenge the court ruling.

"The laws and regulations as currently drafted do not provide sufficient objective criteria for determining propaganda of non-traditional relationships," the company said in a statement provided to Reuters.

"We hope that the current practice of fines against online cinemas will be revised to warnings."

Restream Media did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.

(Reporting by Lucy Papachristou and Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Jan Harvey)