TBILISI (AFP) - Georgia’s leader on Wednesday deployed police in jails to replace prison officers after videos showing the alleged rape and beatings of convicts sparked protests ahead of bitterly-contested elections. “Patrol police must immediately enter all prisons,” President Mikheil Saakashvili said on Georgian television, demanding a complete overhaul of the ex-Soviet state’s much-criticised jails as he announced the emergency measure. “There must be zero tolerance towards rights abuses,” he said. The country’s prisons minister has already resigned over the scandal and the government promised to eradicate the “torture” of convicts. “We guarantee that we will eradicate torture in the penitentiary system,” Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili said. Some of the graphic video footage, aired late Tuesday by opposition television station TV9, showed a weeping half-naked male prisoner at a jail in Tbilisi begging for mercy before apparently being raped. Another video released by the interior ministry showed prison guards brutally kicking an inmate.